“…Annette made people happy; she was happy herself. She enjoyed life. I only saw her cry twice: once when I gave her that ring and the other time when she had Henry.”

Another pause. Finally I say, “You were very lucky.”

He smiles, still shielding his face in his hands. “Well, we were and we weren’t. One minute we had everything we could dream of, and the next minute she was in pieces on the expressway.” Henry winces.

“But don’t you think,” I persist, “that it’s better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it,than to be just okay for your whole life?”

Mr. DeTamble regards me. He takes his hands away from his face and stares. Then he says, “I’ve often wondered about that. Do you belive that?”

I think about my childhood, all the waiting, and wondering, and the joy of seeing Henry walking through the Meadow after not seeing him for weeks, months, and I think about what it was like not to see him for two years and then to find him standing in the Reading Room at the Newberry Library: the joy of being able to touch him, th luxury of knowing where he is, of knowing he loves me. “Yes,” I say. “I do.”…

From The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

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