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Within this once young and vibrant but now old and frail body of mine two very distinct people have lived. One occupied this framework of skin and bones before Robin but I now realize that a new and very different person has been born.

The new person is one no better or worse than the previous occupant, just different. I made no conscious effort to change following the death of my wife, Robin but there most assuredly was, and continues to be even to this day, a transformation, a metamorphosis an evolution.

I now find silence to be acceptable and the absence of conversation to be quite the norm. I sometimes catch myself commenting aloud about a piece of just opened mail but then I stop and wonder to whom am I speaking. The sometimes deafening silence in my world was once something to fear but I have now evolved and I have learned to live with the hush.

The absence of the touch of someone at night is now commonplace. There was a time when I accepted, and even welcomed, the occasional arm draped across me as I slept and for a time following Robin's passing I sometimes thought I could feel her touch as I slept. But that feeling passed and now I sleep without another's touch. I knew that nothing would ever again be the same and what I had come to regard as my life was to become only a memory.

There was a time when I thought I was only one person but now I know that just isn't so. I knew that if I wasn't to be reinvented I would not survive. I can't explain how I became aware of that but I knew it very well. Somehow, and I know not even to this day how, circumstances and my environment were the driving forces behind the changes within me. The sheer enormity of the task, reinventing a 63-year-old man, seemed so overwhelming that I now wonder just how the process, and I, evolved.

Robin, your death opened a door, an evolutionary doorway if you will, which I didn't know existed but one which I had to pass through. Beyond that door I found a way to express my sadness, grief and my loneliness and it was that means which caused me to evolve. There was a time when I considered a life on the other side of that door unfathomable.

When the moment came and I walked through that doorway, I knew that although there would be more sleepless nights ahead those waking hours spent in the darkness would have a purpose. I would write and I would tell everyone how I felt and I would tell those who read my writings all about you. I know how trivial these words must seem but you gave me sight. You left me with the vision to see things differently and I thank you for that.

I was so very lucky that someone like you loved someone like me. If I am never loved again I will always believe that the kind of love we shared may only be experienced once in a lifetime. Only now and late at night when the day comes to an end can I smile as I think about how much you always meant to me.

The past holds onto me and as I recall the days with you it seems as though this new person I have become can never again find days like those that I once knew. We once traveled a road together but like all travels and all paths; we came to the end of that road. Oh how sad it must be for everyone who comes to the end of the road but then roads don't go on forever.

The old version of me was one who couldn't stand the thought of something left unfinished and the new person, the new me, seems to have inherited that compulsion. Therefore, I am interested to see how this new life unfolds. If, by some miracle, a new and special person comes into my life I can once again foresee the birth of a new person within me. Maybe, and I hope so, someday I will meet someone who is special in her own way; someone I can be at ease with and someone I'll love although I'll always know she isn't you.

I have evolved into this not so perfect person living a not so perfect life in a not so perfect world; but that's all I have, at least for now. For I have learned that the word, "never" is meaningless and I must consider anything and everything possible. There is no medicine that a doctor might prescribe as powerful and as healing as the passage of time. I find that the anger that I once felt has, and over some years, changed to fond memories of my wife.

I remember something Robin once said to me. It was just after her doctor told her there was no hope. We were driving home and the car was eerily silent when, and quite unexpectedly, she said to me, "life will be different for you but you're strong, you'll learn to live without me." Once again there was silence but I needed to be honest and give my thoughts to her, "Yes, life will be very different and although I'll learn to live without you; life will never be as good for me as it once was." Again, there was silence as we were both alone with our thoughts.

I know not what so ever may lie in store for me in the future but I am confident that I shall evolve to accommodate the changes which may lie in my path. Evolution is inevitable for those who survive.

I was given a new heart; One on which old wounds left their scars but one that could learn to live, and maybe even learn to love again. I will always remember my first love and I promise I will never forget you. Let this promise never end.

A bit of writing by author and scientist, Charles Darwin created some years ago spawned quite a stir. Twelve-hundred and fifty copies of the work entitled, "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life" was published on 24, November 1859. In that publication Darwin discussed, among other topics, his views on evolution.

Although I find his opinions on the subject to be interesting, one seemingly out of place sentence in this historic book strikes me as true. This small grouping of words which I now refer to is as follows; "We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realized that they were inside us."

I'm not saying that I have evolved to the extent that I've stopped believing in monsters under the bed but I have stopped looking for them.

Stan Fine is a retired police officer and Verizon Security Department investigator who, after retiring in 2006, moved from Tampa, Fla., to Noel, Mo. Stan's connection to Noel can be traced back to his grandparents who lived most of their lives there. Stan began writing after the passing of his wife Robin in 2013. Opinions expressed are those of the author.

Editorial on 09/05/2019

Print Headline: The Nature Of Evolution

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