By Glenn A. Hascall
A monologue from the perspective of a man in his 30s remembering a bride who was taken from him by illness. He is having a conversation with his wife at her graveside a year after her death.
Husband: You promised to cherish and honor me. You had no idea what you were in for. There were nights I'd come home angry with the world, my boss, the car, the bills… and you were the one that seemed to bear the brunt of my frustration. Perhaps this seems a bit too little and a lot too late, but I am sorry.
Sometimes I was the child and you had to pick up after me and calm the real and imagined injustices and fears away with your words of assurance. In the end your 'savage beast' was soothed. Sometimes I was the perfect gentleman - almost. At least I had good intentions. but I would often blow it; a friendly joke carried one step too far, a stinging remark made in fun but striking raw nerve.
I hated to see you cry in those moments - knowing it was my fault - wanting to take it all back - questioning my own rejection of your sacred trust.
You promised to love me for better or worse. I provided you with more worse than better. I struggled to pay the bills and we lived in a home that was always too small and never quite warm enough. Our cars were never new and you often did without because there was something I just had to have. It's easy now to see how selfish I was.
There were moments when I experienced the better; a walk in the park in spring, riding bikes along a tree-lined lane, moments when funny bones were tickled mercilessly, moments of such exquisite tenderness that they cause pain in the remembering.
I promised to love you in sickness and in health. This was my trial by fire, Sarah. Slowly, something I could not control devastated your body. Someone with a greater purpose than ours lovingly courted you and one day you went with Him, leaving me behind. I was once more rejected - left alone, but I know you could do no less than dance with the One who offered the only thing left - eternity.
I saw the light dancing in your eyes as the moment drew near. You seemed so at peace and you expressed your love for me so gently. If I were to have held on too tightly, I would only demonstrated the fool most suspected I was. Perhaps it was your new Groom that made it possible for me to see you through those final moments.
So, today, amidst these trees and in this grassy place I can tell you all the things your life taught me. I can see why God placed you in my life for such a short time. Your heart, a burning flame that shimmers in my mind's eye as I see the way you were used to change me. I am better because of you.
You're not really here, I know that, but it helps to talk. I'm certain you're entertaining others with your smile and gift of song while I struggle to remember the wondrous lilt of your voice as it danced an effortless waltz on the air.
The kids miss you. They often cry, wondering why you left. And Scruffy… even now he runs to the door and whines expecting you to come through it. We all turn to see if it's true. Of course it's not but we can't seem to resist. I'm not sure how you kept this family together, but it's because of you that I am determined to keep it together even when I am certain that there is no way I can do this alone.
You'll be happy to know that I am picking up my own clothes these days. Some might call it self preservation. I have even learned the guarded secret of how to keep from wearing pink socks. Yes, I did learn it the hard way. I am having to learn to cook, the kids are tired of fast food.
It has taken a while to come to terms with the fact that you did not reject and leave us, but God called you away. It's easy to deceive myself by thinking that it was something I did, or didn't do, that caused you to leave. It is a struggle I think I will face for the rest of my life. There is so much I could have done for you, so much I wish I had.
Happy Anniversary, Sarah. I love you and I miss you more than I ever believed possible.
Copyright 2004 Glenn A. Hascall. Should you use this poem would you be so kind as to let us know of its use? glenn.hascall<a>gmail.com