I was with her from 1990 to 2002.
We raised her three children, bought a home, tried our best to have a life better than our parents. Without a doubt there were hard times, but I foolishly thought that love would keep us afloat.
When we broke up, I was unable to give her kids a final goodbye, which broke my heart. The week before her birthday, March 23rd, her oldest daughter messages me that her Mom died at the end of December 2018, but that a celebration of life is being held on her birthday. She would love it if I could come.
I could not make it as I dont live in Utah anymore. I did tell her though that I would do my own little tribute, as her Mom was a very special person to me.
So after my week was done up in the White Mountains, I go for a bike ride.
The memories of our life together flash before me as I struggle to ride through the mud on the trail. I wonder if things would have been different if we would have gotten back together.
Ironically, my life most likely would never have gone down the path it did if we hadnt broken up.
The life unknown from the path not taken.
I wipe the flecks of mud from my face, mixing it in with the tears that are streaming down my cheeks.
Her daughter tells me that her Moms addiction is what most likely led to her death. That addiction is why we did not stay together.
Now I am reconnected with her children, and their smiling faces and full lives make my own corner of the Universe a bit brighter.
I hope that their Mom is smiling a little brighter too now that her pain is hopefully over.