October 09, 2007

The Power of Love

Love is an incredibly powerful force. It has its own energy and life span and can outlive the bonds with those we love.

Meeting this incredbile man recently has made me thing of my very first grown up love.

My first true grown up love was and incredibly beautiful and powerful love that had a force and an energy all its own. Its hard to put into words how incredibly perfect it was. Ive never spoken of Jack to anyone because the huge solid lump in my throat would prevent me from speaking his name, let alone me sharing about him or our time together. Even now, tears still flow as I write and think of him. I can still vividly recall the moment we first met, what we wore, what we said, how we felt (though the intensity of the emotions have faded considerably over these past 20 years). There are times I remember awkward funny moments that our self-consciousness produced very early on, which gave way to a growing strong and abiding love.

For a very long time I believed he was my one and only soul mate. But he, being older and wiser, kept insisting, especially as his cancer progressed, that I would love again and eventually find another wonderful soul mate. Being 20, I felt I had already lived a lifetime. so I never knew whether to believe him or not. I figured either way time would tell, but I didn't think it could ever be possible for me to have what we had a 2nd time around.

This past summer I had a lot of time to think about the kinds of love I have experienced in my lifetime and the kind of love I now want to have in my life. For the first time I had the courage to think back on the kind of love Jack and I shared, and reflect on what made it work and what was lacking, so I could be clear about the kind of love I want to experience in the future.

Funny how it took me to be in my mid 40s to learn love is not an accident. Meeting someone, and experiencing a connection with them is, but true love is something that evolves slowly over time. True love exists when you deeply care, not only what happens to that person, but loving them in spite of their shortcoming and through every challenge they experience. True love doesn't fade in their absence, or with sickness, and is supposed to remain steadfast in health. When you truly love it holds steadfast whether you grow richer or poorer, and irregardlessly of your lives getting better or worse.

Saying I do doesnt make true love so. True love is a state that exists way before the I dos. Its when both individuals are willing to do whatever it takes to make the relationship work, thrive, and grow, and youre not afraid of self-sacrifice or hard work, because the rewards from it are so incredibly worth the sacrifice.

I bumped into Jacks parents this summer. After years of marriage they were still holding hands as they walked down the street. We recognized each other and immediately began talking and catching up on the missing decades, as people so often do in this city.

Afterwards, as I watched them slowly walk away, hand in hand, I realized what a gift Jack had been in my life. In loving me, he taught me how to truly love. And to truly love someone is to do so openly, honestly and without manipulation, with caring, patience and understanding; with commitment for the other's well being as well as their own. It is loving with passion, respect and vulnerability; all while deferring self-centered desires for the greater good, which is always the relationship.

Jack, what a blessing and a great teacher you were. Thank you! And I finally believe your prediction was right. I finally believe I have found my other soul mate. His smile and laughter are already in my heart, filling the space that you opened up for him to fill. Thank you!

Posted by Michele at October 9, 2007 12:08 AM


Posted by: vw bug at October 9, 2007 12:55 PM

You really do get it, not a lot of people get it.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at October 9, 2007 01:19 PM