Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Love At First Sight

So, back to this "Benjamin Button" movie. Another quote (paraphrased) was regarding him discussing falling in love at first sight. The reference was in regards to the fact that it rarely happens, and most people never experience that kind of love so you should treasure it's uniqueness if it comes your way.

Well, it happened to me. I can't really explain the phenomenon, and you could surely say it was "lust" at first sight and not really love at all. Though, being there, in that moment, I can tell you that I had never experienced that feeling before, nor since. (luckily)

My husband and I had chatted on the phone for two months before we met in person. I'd already fallen for him through those conversations. We'd talk for hours each day. I liked that he could make me laugh-a real, hearty, belly laugh. I liked that he was intelligent and well read, but not pretentious. I liked that he followed current events and could discuss politics and books and religion. I knew what he wanted in terms of a family life. I liked his wicked, naughty, teasing. I liked that he was cocky and confident. Ya, I knew I liked him.

Then I met him in person. Honestly, it was like I had been struck by lightning. That sounds ridiculous, even to me, the most pragmatic person you will ever meet. Still, it's true. The feeling that no one else existed and our friends that were with us melted into the wallpaper, is not a stretch. I saw only him and felt dizzy like everything was going to fall around me.

We realized that we had "just missed" each other countless times in our lives. I moved away from a street the year he moved on to the same street. We attended the same elementary school, yet I left as he began in a higher grade.

In that moment where time stood still for me, I knew it wasn't just "lust". I had felt that a thousand times before. (well, maybe not a THOUSAND but....) I knew this was going to be different and intense. And it scared the hell out of me.

For the first while that we were together, (and I mean like two years) I tried everything I could think of to try and test him or push him away. Nothing worked and he would always stay. I felt overwhelmed by it all and the lack of control I felt. As a control freak, that's a big deal. I tried denying my feelings, minimizing, rationalizing. Those feelings never changed. It was like an inescapable clutch that was meant to be whether I was down for the ride or not.

The years passed and we had children and bills and debt and job losses and gains. As all marriages do, we experienced ups and downs and hurdles and struggles. There were many, many trying times over big issues. The ones all couples fight about. Money, family, parenting. Yet despite all of that, I was happy. Truly happy. I look back now and think that I was lucky. Many people don't experience that kind of true happiness ever in their lives. I lived it daily for more than I can count or likely deserve.

At the base of everything going on that we needed to surmount, was that crazy, intense feeling of karma or kismet or fate. The feeling that I was where I was supposed to be with the person I was supposed to be with as well. I used to say we lived passionately. We loved and fought just as intensely. There was no quiet love between us. There hadn't been from Moment 1, why expect that to change with the ravages of time?

Now, 16 years later, I look at two beautiful daughters that were products of that love. That were conceived and brought into this world with the happiest hearts' intentions. That were part of whatever grand plan is out there for our family. I am so thankful for them, and for that blessing. Again, I know that not everyone gets to experience that in their lives.

I look at our love story now. It's been through many obstacles and many changes. Some days, I wish I hadn't been struck like that. I wish I had fallen in love with a friend and had it slowly build over years. I wish I still didn't find my love overwhelming and out of my control. I wish it didn't always seem so intense, and instead was just a quiet, calming force.

So many of us wish for that great love that you can't walk away from, that overpowers everything else in our lives-good or bad. Ultimately, love is love in whatever shape it comes in. Some people never get to complain about it being too comfortable or tempestuous in their lives. So who am I to lament about the fact that I've been overwhelmed by it in mine? There are certainly worse problems to have.

Whatever your story and whatever way love finds its way to your door, embrace it. It may not always have a perfect ending or a happy middle-but there are lessons in it's giving and in it's receiving. Love is not perfect. It makes us happy and sad. It makes us crazy and calms us down. It both breaks and builds.

That old adage is certainly true. "It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all." I'm referencing REAL love, here. The "hold your hand in the night when everything has gone wrong" kind of love. The "stand by you while your world falls apart" kind of love. The "see you through sickness and health, good times and bad, youth and death" kind of love.
"Real, enduring, steadfast" love. The only way you can know if you have that is to "live it through the years and times and tests" love.

Love in all of its forms and shapes and designations, is worth encountering at least once.

I wish you love.

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