We don’t value the good moments in life enough, I think.

Maybe it’s the idea that horrific moments are so disruptive that our minds keep going back to them, wondering how in the hell we were blindsided so easily. But as I watch my wife, Amy, holding our newborn twins, one girl and one boy, I can’t help but feel my already deceased heart warm once again as I look upon the two swaddled bundles in her arms. Amy and I met not long after the trial, where what was left of my biological family disowned me for good, thank God. I was found not guilty, as the slaying of my uncles was deemed to be self-defense and the defense of others, even though my sister and foster family were beyond saving. Maybe the jury believed that my uncles would have come for me next. If that’s the case, then they were right, since the three men would have ended my life shortly after.

But I met Amy while I was in group therapy, court-ordered, and we connected immediately. She’d come from an abusive home as well, and together we created our own little nucleus, our own family, that when bolstered by friends and those who cared about us became our whole world. She helped me just as much as I helped her, and in exchange we gave each other the greatest gift anyone could bestow upon anyone. We gave each other a reason to hope, and to move forward. I can still see the eyes of my two oldest kids when they first opened, my son with his electric blue eyes, and my daughter with the same forest-green eyes that I remember from my childhood. My sister’s eyes. She would carry my sister’s name as well, and both children received as much love as Amy and I could give them.

This moment is fleeting, dammit all anyway, and I see it fading even as the twins blink several times, no doubt taking stock of a very strange and alien world that they have a lot to learn about. It’s strange, but now that I think about it, the moment we open our eyes, we might get a glimpse of how things will look when we close them for the final time. Thankfully, life steps in and draws our attention away from that final moment long enough for it to fade for a while. The vision that replaces this pleasant scene isn’t something I would have wished for, but I can at least understand why it would come next.

Pain was an old friend early on in life, and it made its presence felt more than once over the years, as I recall the moment that washes away the pleasing tableau.

Damn, I really didn’t want to remember this moment. Maybe that’s why it came up in the first place.

(to be continued)

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