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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

It Exists...Love, that is

A brief intro to this next piece. Again, something that I found/came across. But I thought it was very sweet. I mean, it was very nice to read through it...kind of like a sneak preview of what life can be like. Also, it's something that I've seen but never really experienced...but I know that I can. Enjoy this...

The Best Kind Of Love
Author Unknown

I have a friend who is falling in love. She honestly claims the sky is bluer. Mozart moves her to tears. She has lost 15 pounds and looks like a cover girl. "I'm young again!'' she shouts exuberantly.

As my friend raves on about her new love, I have taken a good look at my old one. My husband of almost 20 years, Scott, has gained 15 pounds.

Once a marathon runner, he now runs only down hospital halls. His hairline is receding and his body shows the signs of long working hours and too many candy bars. Yet, he can still give me a certain look across a restaurant table and I want to ask for the cheque and head home.

When my friend asked me 'what will make this love last?', I ran through all the obvious reasons: commitment, shared interests, unselfishness, physical attraction, communication. Yet, there's more. We still have fun. Spontaneous good times.

Yesterday, after slipping the rubber band off the rolled up newspaper, Scott flipped it playfully at me: this led to an all-out war. Last Saturday, at the grocery, we split the list and raced each other to see who could make it to the checkout first. Even washing dishes can be a blast. We enjoy simply being together.

And there are surprises. One time, I came home to find a note on the front door which led me to another note, then another, until I reached the walk-in closet. I opened the door to find Scott holding a 'pot of gold' (my cooking kettle) and the 'treasure' of a gift package. Sometimes, I leave him notes on the mirror and little presents under his pillow.

There is understanding. I understand why he must play basketball with the guys. And he understands why, once a year, I must get away from the house, the kids - and even him - to meet my sisters for a few days of non-stop talking and laughing.

There is sharing. Not only do we share household worries and parental burdens - we also share ideas. Scott came home from a convention last month and presented me with a thick historical novel. Though he prefers thrillers and science fiction, he had read the novel on the plane. He touched my heart when he explained it was because he wanted to be able to exchange ideas about the book after I'd read it.

There is forgiveness. When I'm embarrassingly loud and crazy at parties, Scott forgives me. When he confessed losing some of our savings in the stock market, I gave him a hug and said, 'It's okay. It's only money.'

There is sensitivity. Last week, he walked through the door with that look which tells me it's been a tough day. After he spent some time with the kids, I asked him what had happened. He told me about a 60-year-old woman who had had a stroke. He wept as he recalled the woman's husband standing beside her bed, caressing her hand.

How was he going to tell this husband of 40 years that his wife would probably never recover? I shed a few tears myself. Because of the medical crisis. Because there were still people who have been married 40 years. Because my husband is still moved and concerned after years of hospital rooms and dying patients.

Finally, there is knowing. I know Scott will throw his laundry just shy of the hamper every night; he'll be late to most appointments and eat the last chocolate in the box. He knows I sleep with a pillow over my head; I'll lock us out of the house at a regular basis, and I will also eat the last chocolate.

I guess our love lasts because it is comfortable. No, the sky is not bluer: it's just a familiar hue. We don't feel particularly young: we have experienced too much that has contributed to our growth, taking its toll on our bodies, and created our memories.

I hope we have what it takes to make our love last. As a bride, I had Scott's wedding band engraved with Robert Browning's line 'Grow old with me, the best is yet to be!' We are following these instructions.

And there you have it. Very uncomplicated. Very honest. And surprisingly simple and deliciously naive. Wow! I don't know about anyone else, but this made me feel good all over when I finished reading it. That's the other thing to remember, I mean, one has to accept adversity as a part of a relationship. But it's not enough to sit there and call them "irreconciliable differences" and try to part ways. If you went through with the marriage, then it's up to both parties to try and work things out, even if it kills them. Marriage is something that is taken very seriously. I know that if I wanted to get married I'd have considered it for the longest time. And, after that, if things seemed to be going a little awry, well, that's when I would throw myself at the 'issue' whole-heartedly. Easier said than done of course...but I think I'm a little more committed to that. I've seen too many marriages end in some kind of stagnant stalemate with no one willing to do anything about it, after years of misguided effort and nonchalance; my parents being the best example. No, they're not divorced. They're "separated" as my dad told me one fine day, when he deemed it necessary to tell...because I was old enough. Hahaha. They're still married, in name only, though. But why didn't things work out? I mean, for the longest time in my life, people were telling me about things that I should have done to try and bring them back together and all that. Victims of circumstance? I think not. And that is what urges me forward to deal with adversity, especially of this nature, in my own life, or in the lives of those around me. There's always a way forward...there has to be...that's what I believe anyway. What that way is can be argued by many on several fronts. But the idea is to make a relationship work, no matter what, right? Here's to more self-discovery. Have a great life. May you be blessed to go through life with such a partner.
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