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I proposed in 1996.

He’d always said, “If you get the ring,  I’ll say yes. ”

I did, he did.

We did in September 1997. We’d been together for 3 years already. We were a good couple, we were happy. I knew his bipolar disorder was manageable, I knew we could conquer anything.

Years passed, new home, new jobs, a lot of loneliness. He worked swing-shift which is not good for a relationship or anyone with mental health disorders.

This is where it is no longer my story…I had an affair, I left him, albeit amicably. We remained friends, he kept it, “in the family” in a round about sort of way.

They had a kid, So did me and my new husband. We spoke on occasion, kept in touch via family.

We each moved forward.

2018, a lot of suicide, celebrities, local people, friends of friends. I thought I should check-in with him but I didn’t.

Time and time again, I didn’t.

I awoke one morning to my husband asking if I knew anyone in a certain neighborhood there’d been a major tragedy.

I did.

I waited until I got to work.

I texted my ex, “What’s your mom’s address?” No response. “Hello?” No response. Messenger dings, My ex sister-in-law. “Can you talk?” I told her that I was at work.

The words:

“His mental illness got the best of him, he did the unthinkable, he killed A, he killed B, he killed C, and A, he took his own life.”

My past destroyed in one night.

He left a child parentless

I have spoken to the child.  We connected.  I have nothing bad to say about the child’s father.

I loved him, always. We were good together. We grew apart.

I feel I could have helped had he just reached out to me.

He didn’t.

Today 11/15 is his Birthday, I wish him peace on the other side. I know he fought his demons, I know they over ran him in the end.

I still love him, he’s my past, I will, as always, hold him close to my heart.

There were 4 victims that night.

All of them fell victim to Bipolar Disorder, a failing system, and a lack of understanding from those around the one suffering the most.

Today, I will light a candle for your Birthday,

You are missed. You will always be missed.

I will always remember you.

Happy Birthday, RIP, DLP.