In My Darkest Hours, the Light of Truth
Since my husband has passed away, I have gone through many crises all alone. It's taken all those crises for me to understand that terrible as Tom's mistakes were, terrible as the consequences were for him personally and for his family, nevertheless he was a stand-up guy, and probably better than I deserved.
During the dark days that happen to widows, when I have gone to my own brother for sympathy and help, not financial help, mind you, just some sympathy, all I got were recriminations, moral posturing and his telling me what I should have done, pointing out the superiority of his way of living. My brother was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, not to say he hasn't worked hard, but always at the best schools, always in the best jobs, always at top dollar, always with minimum pressure. My brother's not a bad person, just an average guy.
Tom came into an openly hostile family situation. Not only no advantages, but his parents actively and maliciously tried to destroy his chances. But Tom never recriminated, never used other people's troubles to morally preen, never took cheap shots, and when the chips were down he always came through. He was a stand-up guy.
My family were all cut from the same cloth as my brother. Their lives were spent constantly indulging their own complacently ignorant egos, using all their resources selfishly, blaming others for their problems, never trying to help without extracting a stinging punishment, entirely lacking in the smallest empathy even for their own flesh and blood, and none of them having the least ounce of genuine unselfish kindness. I can see I was very lucky to meet a man like Tom, even as broken a human being as he was, he was a shining saint compared to my family.
And I can take very little credit for escaping the fate of being like my family. I, too, lacked the courage to face life and try to make the world a better place, even in a very small way. I was entirely selfish, too. I only worked as a model, because my parents threw me out. Otherwise, I was ready to give up on life, even at twenty years old. It was only going into therapy that helped me find the courage to grapple with my feelings and fears, and to attempt to be somebody good in this world. My psychiatrist helped me correct my aim toward God’s love.
I know now that my love for Tom was not misplaced, that I didn't foolishly waste my life and love on an undeserving person. He was better than I deserved, a far better man than I knew until I was left without him, with only the coldness and disdain of my own family to fall back on. Thank you, Tom, for showing me how to live. I learned it all from your generous heart, your dauntless spirit, and your kindness. Tom was a stand-up guy. I know he is standing with me now. He's still all I've got in this sorry world. Certainly, he was the best person I have ever had the privilege to know and to love.
This is the strangest afterlife story you will ever read. A man with a divided soul, one in hell and one in heaven, came back to confess the truth and expose how the devil ruined his life. A must read for anyone struggling to reconcile sin and mental illness.