my love

As a child, when I dreamed about adulthood I pictured myself on a deserted island with animals. Maybe playing my flute in a tree. My friends dreamed about their weddings, while I fantasized seeing my name on a book cover.

Dating Tim at 17, I expected to be letting him go the day he would be transferred cross-country by the Navy. I resolved I would not cling. He had been a friend in childhood; we had realized we cared a lot for one another. But I was destined for college and whatever academic island I might sail to. Tim was...well, he was someone and something I knew wouldn't come along again. But he would do fine without me, so I might as well accept that.

After Tim left, I wrote him to make it clear he was free. I didn't mention how incredibly difficult I was finding it to hold my resolve. The gigantic ache in my middle made every love song on the radio cause for suffering. Now I knew why people crooned about their broken hearts.

Tim wrote me a letter that crossed mine in the mail. It resides in my file cabinet today, along with many others sent during our, as it turned out, long distance engagement. In his letter, Tim expressed his shared suffering, his ache for me. It was very romantic.

We didn't know what lay ahead. I couldn't articulate my reasons, my instinctive knowledge that only with Tim would I have a chance.

We were destined, it turned out, for incredible failure. But what a teacher disaster can be. And afterward, sometimes, there are precious gifts, not the least of which is deep humility, abiding care and gratefulness. Not to mention our children. Now, also, a grandchild. Edmund is someone and something I know won't come along again.

This morning Tim had already gone through the front door to his bike, and I lingered, as usual, waiting to watch him ride out of sight. He is free, always, to go (I'm grateful he does the work to pay the bills). I enjoy life on my "island", with our remaining animal, where my name goes with my words that satisfyingly fill small spaces.

This morning, even though we'd already kissed goodbye (after exchanging cards that, for once, were both rather romantic), I burst out the door to tell him, "I love you more than when we met." Which is, I recognized, obvious, since we first rode his trike together. So I added, "More than ever." Because it's true.


Sally Harper said…
Maybe the lengthy comment I tried to post that disappeared wasn't meant to be! Suffice it to say, I appreciate so much your stories of marriage and relationship. And Edmund. Oh! Do you suppose his hair will darken as he gets older?
deanna said…
I'm sorry your first comment disappeared, Sally! But this comment makes me smile.

Edmund will likely have white hair all his life, due to albinism. His eyes do have some blue pigment, it seems, so one never knows. Maybe he'll have blue hair at some point. ;o)
Dee said…
Dear Deanne, life is long, no matter how many years we live, isn't it? And filled with many peaks and valleys and much journeying to where we find ourselves. And marriage in my mind, having never known the state, is a place and a destination. Peace.
deanna said…
Well said, Dee. Thank you for the sentiment. A place and a destination, indeed.
Fresca said…
Of wonderful lives!
Thanks for sharing.