July 17, 2010

If I Die Young

Posted in Awesome God, Emo Day, Grown-Up Life, Story of My Life at 4:34 PM by TKWatson

I heard this song for the first time recently.  My heart damn near broke in two.

We met in high school and dated for a short while in the summer and fall after graduation.  He broke my heart into a million little pieces when he left me.  For years, every now and then, he would somehow stumble back into my life, for just a brief moment and I would once again feel an inexplicable surge of emotion for this person that I barely knew.  Then my heart would break again when, every time, he disappeared just as soon as he had come along.  For years, even in his absence, I loved this boy; the fire that once was, I managed to quell to embers, but it never quite burned out.  Not even after I fell in love with someone else.  For years, I was sure that he would always be “the one that got away”; I was sure that I would spend the rest of life wondering where he was, how he was, and why he hadn’t loved me the way I loved him.

Then one day, out of the blue and after several years, he called me.  This was different then all those times he had momentarily popped back into my life.  He took me out.  He told me how sorry he was for all the wasted years.  He told me he loved me, and had for all this time.  He said he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me.

I bought it.  Hook.  Line.  And Sinker.

The two months that followed were the strangest of my life.  Things were amazing in the beginning.  A fairytale come true, or so I thought.  But our relationship quickly deteriorated as I uncovered lies, secrets, and a person who didn’t meet the standards of the pedestal I had this man on for so long.

Somehow, I managed to walk away.

This story line seems so implausible to me that sometimes, it’s hard to believe it really happened.  But it did.  And I thank God everyday for it.  The day I walked away from him, the power that he had held over me for so many years, finally broke.  I no longer had to wonder “what if”. I no longer had to love him in my dreams.  Although my heart was once again shattered into a million little pieces, I knew that this time I would fully heal.

Two months later, G and I started dating.  For the first time in six years, I felt that I was able to give my heart to someone ahundred percent, without having a little piece of it left behind for this other man.  The irony in this is that the weekend of my first date with this person was the same weekend that G had asked me to fly to Colorado to attend his senior ring dance with him, before we started dating, and I said no.

In August of 2009, just four months after our roller-coaster two month reunion, the man I’d spent more than five years of my life loving, passed away.  He was 23 years old.  I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t devastated at the news of his passing.  Although I hadn’t spoken to him in months, no longer had any desire to be with him, and had already found the true love of my life, the death of someone so young, especially someone I had so recently loved, was not easy.  One final time, my heart broke over this man.

I always see God’s hand in the story of my life, and this piece of my story is no exception.  I know that God allowed this man back into my life so that I could have the opportunity to finally be rid of my desire for him.  So that G could have all of me, like he deserves.

I also know God allowed it so that his death wouldn’t destroy me.  His death was a tragedy that I was deeply affected by, but if I’d never had the opportunity to realize that I loved an image, rather than a real person, I’m not sure I would have survived his death with my sanity intact.

Today, almost a year after his death, I uncovered one more lie this man told me.  A lie that puts into question everything he had told me about loving me for so many years.  Though I am a little bit saddened by this, for the first time since meeting him when we were just eighteen, my heart didn’t break this time.  I guess it’s pretty much impossible for someone to break your heart when another man holds it safely in the palm of his hand.

I will always remember this person that I loved for so long, and I will always feel a twinge of pain at the loss that his family, and this world suffered through his death.  He was so young, and had so much life left to live.  Like the song says… “It’s the sharp knife, of a short life…”

Rest in Peace, Nicholas James Fenney. 1986-2009.

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1 Comment »

  1. […] that crashed, are facing tonight.  The closest I can even come to relating, which I discussed here, hardly even registers on the same scale. I pray that the Lord will hold the members of those […]


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