DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Tom," had a heart attack and died six months ago. I was his second wife. He was married to his first wife, "Becky," for seven years before their divorce. They split up because Becky found someone who made more money. Five years later, Tom married me. We had seven happy years together. There were no children in either marriage.
It took a month before I felt strong enough to go through Tom's personal belongings. He owned one wallet. Sadly, there were no pictures of me in his wallet, even though we had studio portraits taken together on two occasions and I had given him wallet-sized prints.
What I did find hidden in his wallet were two small snapshots of Tom and Becky, taken when they were newlyweds. I was stunned. In all the years we were married, if Becky's name was mentioned, Tom made nothing but negative remarks about her.
I feel certain they were not having an affair, but I can't help but wonder if Tom still loved her. Whenever I ask anyone, the person tells me what I want to hear -– that the fact he could never say a kind word about Becky proves that he loved me. Abby, what are your thoughts on this? Please be straight with me. -– HURTING IN VIRGINIA
DEAR HURTING: OK. There are many reasons why people keep souvenirs. It doesn't always mean that the person is carrying a torch. It's possible that your husband carried the old snapshots to remind him how lucky he was to have you in his life instead of the woman he had trusted who had caused him so much pain.
I know it's convoluted thinking, but since Tom is no longer here to explain it, please hold a good thought. I'm sure the pictures had nothing to do with his feelings about you, with whom he spent seven happy years.
P.S. Wouldn't it be ironic if the pictures were there because Tom never bothered to clean out his wallet?