I was stunned when I read those words.
And suddenly felt overwhelmed.
But in a good way.
And that surprised me.
If I had read those words in the first two years of my "after", I most likely would've felt stunned, overwhelmed and very, very grieved.
I could not have dealt with the thought that my happiness was not behind me.
Because behind me is where Jim is.
As is the happiness we had.
And that was all the happiness I would ever have.
Or so I thought.
But I was wrong.
Back then ...... so fresh in my "after".
And, even if it hurts to read this ...... so are you, if you think that all of your happiness is behind you.
I'd like for those words to give you hope, and not hurt.
But in the beginning ..... which lasts as long as it lasts for each person ...... just about everything hurts.
Even ten small words.
But now ...... now at almost 5 years in my "after", those ten words made me smile ..... not cry.
They reinforced the hope that has been planted in my heart.
Yes, they are only words.
No, I don't truly believe that fortune cookies hold the truth to my future ...... or anyone else's.
But I do believe in the power of those words.
And I believe there's a reason that they were in the cookie that I opened ...... and not in the eight others that were opened.
But what's more important, at least to me, is that that little slip of paper was powerful ...... but only partly true.
I do have happiness behind me.
And I treasure it.
But I also believe that I have much happiness before me. I don't know what that looks like, but I do know that it's my choice. If I choose to spend all of my time looking behind me, I'll miss out on all that is before me.
That doesn't mean that in order to be happy I have to stop looking behind me completely. I don't.
I know that I can glance behind me, and yet stretch my hands out in front ..... to catch hold of the happiness that's there.
I can remember what I had, and yet look forward to what is yet to come ...... whatever that is.
I don't have to forget Jim ...... that's just physically impossible. He's part of me, and will always be.
But I can take him forward with me ....... because he helped make the woman I am today. And the woman I'll be tomorrow.
I am happy.
Where I am.
And I'll be happy in the future.
Because of the happiness and love I had in the past.
I know what's possible.
And I know that ten little words can pack a lot of power.
If I choose to believe them.
And I do.