For the first time in 7 years, my side of the family was together. In Edinburgh, away from everything, just enjoying the opportunity to spend it in one another’s company. The love and the laughter were constant and precious.

Scott teases me about being married for almost 23 years. The stress of living with me. Except his face completely ruins the effect. Love rolls off him in waves. I roll my eyes. He looks at me, “Happy?” He asks.

And in that moment, we looked at each other. Tears filled our eyes as we recognize the stark realization: we shall never be truly happy again.

I know there will be joy. There will be times of carefree satisfaction in the lives we will lead. But nothing will be truly or completely anything again.

It is like I’m missing a part of my heart, never to grow back. And yet the pieces that are left, grow outward. They expand with all the love we have received, constantly pumping with the blessings of others.

I take stock of my life so far. Around 4 years ago, my life was good. I had a job I loved, surrounded by people I adored, my family was strong and happy and my friend circle complete.

And yet I was unsettled. I struggled to find my place in my own life. I allowed the inconsequential and irrelevant to consume me. I just wanted to be happy.

Ironic that my happiest moments were the ones that I didn’t know I was. The diaper changes, the sleepless nights, the homework sessions or the quiet dinners. Time spent with the people that loved me the most; whose acceptance was universal.

Purgatory for me is the ability to remember those peaceful, happy moments and yet not appreciate them or me for what they were or who I was.

I continue to grow and learn. I am forever grateful for the opportunity to be more than I thought I could be.

I only wish that some lessons were learned well before they had irreversible consequences.

I would never have wished for happiness because I would have already had it. I just had to accept it.