I purged a lot of frustration while writing “Shots to the Heart”—it was somewhat of a bare-the-soul approach. 

The pain I was stuffing created an angry edge to my words. When my sister (Cathy) read the first writing, she told me not to share it with anyone—she said, “Burn it.” Of course, she was right, and it’s in the trash. After a major rewrite, the final version ended up with many of the same elements but more carefully worded. Much is buried between the lines. For instance, I talk about how Linda and I struggled to be together while “others” fought to tear us apart. They would say, “It’s for our own good.” What they didn’t realize is that their actions served to bond us more closely.

Today, history is repeating itself. I’m told, “She’s not right for you!” “We will not accept…”

This tension has created an arm’s length relationship with some of my friends. Others are being even less polite. It feels like they want to punish me for being the one that survived. If there were a do-over button, I would push it. I would trade places.

Looking back, Linda and I had a poor chance for a lasting marriage. We were children and foolish lovers without a plan or direction. Today, I’m in a similar position, and the odds are about the same. The only difference is, I know what love feels like—and I’m still in love—although I do not understand love or the nature of attraction. It makes me question whether love is intrinsic or merely happenstance. Do some hold the key and will “always and forever” find love, while others search hopelessly?

We’ve all heard, “Love is blind.” I’m not sure that’s true. There is a difference between being oblivious to flaws and unconditionally loving someone despite their imperfections. John Legend makes a strong point in his song “All of Me.” He appreciates the flaws through a loving heart:

“Love all your curves and all your edges—All your perfect imperfections—you’re my end and my beginning—even when I lose, I’m winning.”

I’m trying to understand why those that say they love me want to reject me. I know there is a “reason behind the reason” for their actions, and I realize its’ not malicious. They love me, but with contingencies. I asked a friend why the rejection. She/he said, “I’m not rejecting you. I’m rejecting the woman.” Sorry, it doesn’t feel that way, and I’m struggling to understand that rationale. Does that mean some people are not worthy of love? Or, am I simply a footnote in their memories of Linda?

I continue to question my actions (and others). I search for answers to questions that I don’t know to ask. Because of this, I’ve become caught up in analyzes, and it consumes me. Even though it is a “fool’s errand,” my mind will not be still while I try to find peace and happiness after suffering a battered heart.

One of my favorite quotes sums up my quest for answers. It was written by George Santayana. For me, it carries a deeper meaning and is so thought-provoking that I’ve printed it on my business card. 

 “By nature’s kindly disposition, most questions, which it is beyond a man’s power to answer, do not occur to him at all.”



  • susan says:

    Beautifully said my friend. You deserve joy, peace, happiness and love. I’m saddened by the judgments you have received, last time I checked that was to be done by only one person and they are not here on this earth. So in saying that don’t try and seek approval or acceptance by anyone. Let unconditional love stay in your heart and those who can’t see beyond there own face Well there’s plenty of mirrors to go around! Those type of people are bitter and lonely in a much worst way, I feel sorry for them. Keep strong friend!

    • Christine says:

      Well said Susan,I definitely agree. Miss you Steve.

      • Thanks for taking the time to write, I’ve missed you too. All I can say is, if Linda could see how others have treated me, she would be deeply saddened. Linda and I always wanted the best for each other. I’ve often not made the right decisions, but my love for Linda eternally remained true. Life treated us well and we lived stronger, richer, and more loving during our short 50 years together, than most will experience in two lifetimes. So, I try not to be too sad and I can never forget each time she kissed me goodnight for the 46 years we were married. I so miss her touch and her eyes looking deeply into mine. I don’t know if anyone could ever love me with the depth she did. S…

        • Christine says:

          I believe Linda would want you to be happy. I had so much respect for her. Wish I could have gotten more time to get to know her better. She was a very unique person. With that said, I think exactly the same of you. I like the part where you wrote how you two blended and eventually became one. Your way with words is truly a gift. I like the advise Susan gives you, she seems very wise.

          • Thank you Christine, Yes Linda would want me to be happy. When we found out she had cancer, one of the first things she worried about was me. She told me to be strong for her and to be happy for our wonderful life together. The Susan you mentioned, is the girl that Linda and I met at a garage sale. She’s a hair stylist, and a beautiful person. When she cuts my hair it’s like a counseling session…full of good advice. We’ve become great friends during the past year and often meet for lunch. Nature must like being in balance, because I’ve lost a few friends when I lost Linda, but new ones took over.

  • Thank you for your thoughts Susan. You’re always in tune with the heart, my heart. S…

  • Angie says:

    Steve! You are doing just fine, who is saying the opposite??? Keep on doing what you’re doing; writing, crying…whatever. You have volumes to still give…don’t forget that! Angie

    • Angie, thanks for taking the time to comment. Sometimes I feel so alone, and overwhelmed with sadness, but I’m beginning to adjust to my new normal. Even though I don’t want to, I have to. Recently, I’ve gotten back to writing my memoir—the love story of my life with Linda from the day we met until we were married four years later. I will share pieces of it on this blog. I’ll send you a link to register for my blog updates. Thank you, Steve…

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