“We got married fresh out of high school. We had been dating since we were twelve; back in a time when dates meant sitting next to each other in class, or on the bus.
I loved you from the moment I first saw you, and I love you just as much, if not more today. For now I understand love, and what it means.
Sure, we had our tough times. The first year of marriage, or every time we moved homes. Yet through it all we stood side by side.
However, an adult’s life is not a straight forward one.
As our family grew, so did our financial needs. I didn’t complain, I love my job. I worked hard and made partner in record time. The youngest person to ever make partner not on in the firm, but in the State.
It is amazing how fast time goes, looking back at the years we have shared, the memories we formed. It all feels like just yesterday. Yet now, here I stand, talking to you all, one day short of our fiftieth wedding anniversary, a man filled with regret.
People change, it is part of your natures, but maybe, sometimes we change because we are afraid of what is really there. I worked all the hours I could, providing for my family. Yet I was home less and less, I missed football games and school plays. I ate more dinners alone in my office than at the family table. Yet you, my darling Helen stood beside me. You held my hand and comforted me when I was down. You guided me when I was lost. Without you I would have no family, I would not have the life I live today.
I know that I could have done more. I could have been more romantic. I could have brought you flowers just to show you that I cared. I could have come home on time to eat with you. I should have made more of an effort to make it home for the birthdays and anniversaries. I wish I could have helped you through your tough times with the same selflessness that you showed me.
People say that once a chance is gone, it’s gone. I refuse to believe this. It is never too late. Helen, my love. You are my world, and I do not know what I will do without you. I love you.”
With his words said, Richard Morse bent down and kissed his wife one final time. He placed a bouquet of roses in her hands and walked back to join the congregation. His eyes were red with tears, and as the doors closed behind the casket, and the curtain dropped to obscure the flames from view, Richard broke down and cried. He was surrounded by his children, and at home two young grandchildren waited for him, but none of it was enough to keep him strong a moment longer.