My ex-husband’s mother once told me that your first love takes a little piece of your heart and it will always belong to him. She wasn’t talking about her son. He and I were still in the early stages of our marriage. She was talking about her own first husband. At the time I thought “How strange.” Here she is married to a man who treats her like a queen and she’s telling me how much she loved her first husband. Twenty eight years later, I know exactly what she is talking about.
It’s not that she didn’t love her second husband whole heartedly. It’s not that she didn’t recognize that he was probably her soul mate, if there is such a thing. It’s not that she would change anything about her relationship. Except maybe, she wished she had met him first. At least that’s the way I feel about Doug. I wish that I had met him years ago. But I didn’t have children with John Hudgins, so maybe I would feel a little differently if I did.
Maybe it’s just those early years of finding yourself that makes you yearn for things to be different. Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband with my whole being. I know that he would do anything for me and he knows that I would do anything for him. We are a perfect pair. But when I say yearn. I mean a really deep, sad, longing for a dream that was lost. I don’t feel guilty for having these thoughts. It’s not a constant longing. But on occasion it does descend upon me like a very dark fog. Doug occasionally has the same thoughts about his own first marriage. There are things he missed out on with his daughter and things he is still missing out on to a degree.
Everyone has choices. So when someone you love takes a course that leads to drugs, jail, probation, theft, prison, and parole, you have to make a decision. Eventually, I had to make the decision to leave. It was not done carelessly. It squeezed every bit of strength that I had in me at the time. Shortly afterwards, I slammed the door on that room in my heart and locked it. Overtime, I’ve had to nail timber across that door and put a chain and padlock on it to keep the sadness from spilling over.
But now, I think it’s time to get the tools out. Clear away the other stuff that I’ve stacked in front of it. Unlock the padlock and the chains. Get the crowbar and remove boards. Throw open the door and let the memories and emotion spill out. It’s time to let it go.
Join me over the next few days as I share my memories with you.
Life with John Hudgins – Part I