I am reading a book called “Happy for no Reason” – It is really a good book and right up my alley. I love any book that helps you better yourself. And like most of these types of books it has a chapter on “Forgiveness”. Usually I give this chapter a courtesy read, but I never get too involved. Mostly because I don’t hold grudges. So I really never have anyone that I have to forgive. I make a point of getting things out in the air as quick as possible and then...let it go. I say all this to illustrate how surprised I was when I read this chapter and the first thing that came to mind was Michael. I have to forgive Michael. Michael is my husband’s twin brother. I now know that forgiving someone who hurts me is easier than forgiving someone that hurts someone you love. I watched my brother -in -law break my husband’s heart into a million pieces. I had never seen my husband cry until that day. I can’t convey to you how small and helpless you feel when someone you love is hurting and you can’t make it better.
When I met my husband – I thought he was perfect- almost too perfect. I could not figure out how he was doing it. He was supporting most of his extended family financially, by working 14 hrs days. He was the owner of a dog that looked well loved and fed, his house was spotless. He assured me that he could not cook, but his refrigerator was always full with yummy food. I was completely confused and convinced that he had a secret wife somewhere. Turns out I was right – his twin. My hubby and Mike were the yin and yang of each other. They look alike, but that is where the similarities ended. If you can imagine a traditional 50’s couple, my husband was the man of the house and his brother, the happy little housewife. Hubby took care of the money and Mike took care of all domestic chores. This is the way it worked from the time they were 17 yrs old. So it was not a huge surprise when a year into our marriage Mike moved in. It was not bad; in fact there is something oddly refreshing about being in a two wife household, especially when our daughter came into the picture. This child now had three adults who thought the world of her. And when I went back to work... it was like having a built in nanny. It wasn’t all fun, but I thought we were all happy.
In hindsight all the signs were there. Mike would have mood swings; he would complain that he would never have a family of his own. And unlike my husband, he never made peace with losing his mom. He use to joke that except for his niece there was nothing worth living for. Of course, all of this was said with his usual flair for the dramatic – so you never took him seriously. I guess that is why we were all so shocked on Sept 6th.
I received a phone call from my husband at about 10am – I needed to come home and talk Mike off the ledge he was on...this time. He and my hubby had been arguing over Mike taking his car. Apparently it had escalated and Mike was in the bathroom upstairs threatening to kill himself.
When I got home I saw cop cars in the drive way. Tim, our cousin and a cop, was in the doorway. When he saw me he just shook his head. I didn’t understand what he was saying.
And then I saw my husband. My god – if I never see that look on anyone’s face ever again... it will be too soon. He had no reaction until he saw me… and then I literally watched my husband’s heart break. His 1st wife, his best friend, his other half had decided that life was not worth living anymore. And in dramatic fashion – had taken his life. Apparently not even his niece was worth living for.
Mike left us a message on the voicemail – it wasn’t our fault... he just couldn’t live like this anymore.
So almost two years later ....we are here. My husband has been to counseling, but he still get this far away look – every now and then. There is a piece of him that is gone forever. And my daughter… well – every time we look a new house – she lets us know which room is for Uncle Mikey. And me, I pray for him every day. I am no longer angry, because I understand some of his pain. However, no matter how hard I try I will never understand his choice. I have been told that forgiveness comes after acceptance. I hope that is the case and that one day I will forgive the man that broke my husband’s heart.