From Chicken Soup for the Soul Daily Inspirations for Women

December 17

In the picture that my ex-husband’s girlfriend ripped in half, I am wearing a white blouse and yellow gathered skirt. I am sitting on the edge of a fountain in Paris, and I’m laughing because I’ve had a summer of freedom, I’m 17, and I’m in love with the boy taking the picture. And we’re in Paris.

The boy and I walked for miles, climbed the Eiffel Tower and tossed coins in every fountain we saw. With the last of my money I bought a miniscule bottle of perfume, L’Air du Temps, and made it last for months.

Many years have gone by. The boy and I got married, and after 19 years and four daughters, we ended up in a bitter divorce. But the girl in the snapshot is dazzled by a future that shimmers as bright as the fountain behind her. All the tears and pain destined to divide us lie ahead— and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Because once in a while, I catch the scent of L’Air du Temps, and I’m in Paris again, and 17.

Marilyn McFarlane

Knowing all the tears and pain
that lie ahead, you wouldn’t change a thing.

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