"We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere." ― Tim McGraw
Sacramento, Christmas 1984
when you read this letter, there's nothing to do about it. I can't stand it anymore, I need to end my life and therefor[e] ours. It wasn't meant to be; we weren't meant to be and our son wasn't meant to be either.
Take care and believe me that I loved you,
Perry folded the letter and let it slip inside his jacket pocket. The wind here at the cemetery was unpleasant, but it was an unpleasant season – at least for him and every time he finally arrived at this place.
Christmas hadn't been a great holiday for him since 1959, since he spent the Holidays with Della. Nevertheless, being here gave him some peace. It was strange how this place changed him every time he stopped by. It was like returning home after a long time of being stuck abroad, where nothing was or grew familiar.
The roses still in his hands he looked at the beautiful grave stone.
Della Street Carlisle
Alive in our hearts
She had died on Christmas Eve 1974 exactly 15 years after their last Christmas together. Richard Carlisle had called him in the middle of the night to tell him that she had passed away peacefully in their home.
Two days after Della's funeral Laura had killed herself with a deadly mix of sleeping pills and vodka. The loss of both women in such a short time had almost cost him his sanity and his faith. He had spent a long time living in utter darkness and pain. His campaign, his profession, his life, everything that used to define him, had gone to hell and more than once he had wished he would find the strength to follow them to another place.
Thank God he hadn't.
It was Richard Carlisle who reminded him that Della wouldn't have wanted it that way. She, the most life affirming and loving creature he had ever met, told Perry in his dreams to go on for her sake and every time he wanted to give up, her voice was gently whispering in his ear. He missed her every day, but he learned to live, her memory in his heart and mind, and make the best of it. He had started a new office, worked many pro bono cases. He and Richard founded the Della Carlisle Foundation that supported children with cancer and their families. Carlisle became a friend, an ally of sorts. One who reminded him that paths could part, but that didn't mean they led to a dead end.
The secretary he had hired for his office was male and the private detective a woman. The threesome magic from the old days was gone, but he had built up a new life and felt human again.
Every year on Christmas he returned to Della's grave, knowing she was watching him.
In the end he couldn't say his life had been wasted. He had taken too many detours, had allowed himself too many mistakes. He paid for his flaws and learned to accept them. He was grateful for the people he met, for those who brought light and shadow to his life, because none of it could exist without the other.
So this is the end of my morbid A/U story. Hope you enjoyed it a little and if not, I promise I'll try to make it up to you :-) Thank you to my beta Gemenied who is the hell of a good teacher and editor!