Tiny Love Stories: ‘A Wife Who Left’

I’m 5-foot-4. The tallest man I’ve dated seriously was 5-foot-8; the man I once thought of as my soul mate was 5-foot-6. I like being eye level with my partner. I don’t like being towered over. After a series of failed relationships, including a divorce, friends introduced me to a historian. They described him as “charming and funny, but tall.” At 6-foot-3, Zach is far outside my height preference, someone I wouldn’t have noticed on my own. But, we’ve been together for five months and I can’t remember feeling this compatible with anyone. Everything is looking up. — Minh-Ha T. Pham

I imagine that nothing breeds contempt quite like monthly payments to a wife who left, taking both children and half the furniture. But those days are long over now; our children are grown and chasing their dreams on opposite coasts. Tonight, everyone’s in town. The four of us have dinner. His wit, still amusing. My laugh, still deep. Amid the easy conversation, it’s clear we’ve both softened. Despite plenty of reasons for hostility, we’ve figured out there are two very good reasons for forgiveness. And they’re sitting with us right now. I’m grateful we are wise enough to choose them. — Mindi Ellis

I was single for 20 years. So, when my new husband started embracing me each night before falling asleep, I found the habit sweet but constricting. Then I remembered how my husband’s previous partner developed multiple myeloma. How he once rushed Michael to the hospital when the symptoms got severe. How Michael, paraplegic, died on a gurney in a hallway, waiting for his tests to begin. And how my husband had his arms around Michael the moment he died. Now, when that late-night embrace arrives, I don’t think about claustrophobia. I just stroke his hand to say, “I’m still here.” — Jeff Herrington

When her youngest graduated from college, my grandmother decided she wanted to be a pilot. She completed ground school, but that’s as far as she went. When we grandchildren were born, she was widowed, living on a teacher’s salary in New Jersey. In lieu of an inheritance, our grandmother promised us memories. Traveling with us every summer, she shared her desire to explore, a desire that led me to complete my pilot’s license. As a thank you for her encouragement, I recently took my grandmother flying down the Hudson River, both of us in awe of the other. — Jessica Ward

Sumber: www.nytimes.com