John Polo met Michelle, the love of his life, when he was very young. The two dated for a year and he “fell madly in love with her.”
But as many teenage love stories go, the couple parted ways for eight long years. When they reunited, they knew they’d never be apart again. Just two years after they found one another again, though, Michelle got terrible news. She was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of cancer. John stood by her side, never giving up hope.
Before Michelle went into her first surgery, the couple decided to get married at their town’s courthouse. They didn’t know if she’d make it out of the operating room.
But when the cancer returned, this time terminal, the couple began planning Michelle’s dream wedding.
Sadly, though, John’s wife didn’t live long enough to walk down the aisle. She did, however, get to try on her dream dress.
In a recent Facebook post, John shares a poem he wrote inspired by a photo of Michelle in that very dress… one that he never got to see her wear.
That’s my wife.
In her wedding dress.
A wedding dress that I never got to see her in.
We were married at the courthouse a few days before her first surgery was scheduled to take place.
We rushed there. To become man and wife.
Not knowing if she would make it out of the surgery alive.
After the cancer came back and she was terminal, we decided to plan a real wedding.
She didn’t make it to that real wedding.
She died two weeks before it was scheduled to take place.
I have so many regrets.
Not getting to see her walk down the aisle is atop that list.
But, she got that dress. Her dream dress.
She loved that dress SO much.
While at hospice, she would talk to people about how great the wedding was going to be.
She wasn’t coherent enough to realize that she wasn’t going to make it to there.
Michelle died without me ever seeing her in that dream dress.
A week after she passed away I stumbled across this picture in her phone.
I lay motionless in bed, both happy and devastated.
Tears flowing down my cheeks as I laughed aloud at the memory of how giddy it made her.
In her dress.
I want to live a long life.
I want to remarry and have grandkids.
I want to write and teach.
I want to spread my message to the world.
I want to tell them everything I have learned about love, loss, grief and healing.
When it is my time, I am running up there.
No – I am sprinting up there!
To see her.
What a powerful post. John’s blog shares his journey of recovery at Better Not Bitter Widower, but through it all, he insists that his love for Michelle will never fade. It’s pretty clear how much he truly adores her, even now.
Share if John’s poetry moved you.