The warmth of the day brought his bones no comfort. She was gone, passing with his arm around her and the summer breeze making the curtains dance while he dozed in and out. He thought he would have, should have gone first.
He now had funeral plans to manage. The children would be here soon. Children, he mused. They were hardly that anymore, but always to him. The lawyer came back in and settled into his chair.
“Here is her will. I am sure you know it well. No surprises. There is something else though.”
The lawyer handed him a letter. It was sealed tightly. Hand written on the envelope were the words, To my love – 1994.
I am so sorry that I have gone. I want to tell you about love.
I know that when we lost our first child, it was hard on you. In different ways from myself. I was cold to you. Your young bride pushing you away could not have been easy, but you stayed.
I knew about the other girl. I don’t know who she was and it does not matter. It was a feeling, not a reality to me. It was a relief at the time. I need for you to know that. I watched you, despite my apparent lack of interest in those days. I waited, as women do, for your guilt to overtake you. It never did. You treated me with kindness and respect. Had you not, I would have left.
Thank you for all these years. Thank you for my family. Thank you for loving me as a person through all the troubled times. I am glad I did not leave until now. I would have missed a lot of wonderful things.
Your loving wife
He knew that she had known. It was a feeling, not a reality to him. A moment of weakness in his youth that made him less proud than anything else in his life. Summer was passing. He looked out the window to embrace it. Shame gone.