>give me the courage to love with an open heart…i want to love with an open heart…
~indie arie – Testimony
16 years ago, standing in front of a high school, waiting, there was a brief conversation. It was a Beta Club meeting, or something like that, a chance encounter, nothing more. He was bound for West Point, always in a uniform, and she was ever the cheerleader, bound for college and sorority life. They didn’t travel in the same social circles.
He never finished West Point. She didn’t finish college (well, the first time). Life took them both in unintended directions.
But the conversation was remembered.
Fast foward 16 years. An email or two (Thank you Facebook) turns into ‘Can i have your number?’.
The first call, lasting nearly 3 hours, turns into a nightly routine. There are no boundaries, no limitations, nothing but freedom and joy… and laughter.
there was a rush decision to meet.. to see if the spark felt over the phone was really real. (Cause it really felt that surreal, as thought the faintest whiff of reality would take it all away.).
As soon as their eyes met, they both knew. An electric surge that intense couldn’t be anything other than real. His south to her north. Even now, she feels the flutter in her chest, remembering the intensity of his gaze.
From the very first time i rest my eyes on you, boy, my heart said ‘ follow through’.
Vowing to take it day by day, to over come the distance and the obstacles, they part. Painfully, excruciatingly, as though the soul connection they felt was being ripped by the very fibers making it up.
The next week passes more slowly than any in history, as they both wait for the time when they can see each other again. He’s up before the sun, driving to her. She’s up early in anticipation of his arrival. The day is their’s and never are they more than arm’s length apart. Laughter, and deep conversation, Indian food, coffee, and a museum. Her arm in the crook of his elbow, as though he’s escorting her, they walk through the museum. His free hand covers her hand on his elbow, and staring into her eyes, he speaks of neverending devotion, love, and a life together.
He speaks of planting a seed that will become their life, growing as an oak tree would. An oak tree that in time will provide them shade to sit under, and, in the joy of their years together, a remembrance of their life, surrounded by their children and grandchildren.
In truth, he says it best when he says nothing at all. She knows, just from the intensity of his stare… the way his eyes can look into hers and never waiver… the pounding of his heart that she can feel when they are close… the way his hand tightly closes around hers when he speaks.
Parting was still as painful as before. But, there’s some solace behind it, as they now have each other. This … this is real. This is the stuff fairy tales are made of.
He bears it better than she does, the distance between them, as he’s the strong one.
He’s the strong one.
Wow. She’s always had to be the strong one. This is new, and to a degree, she doesn’t quite know how to deal with it. When you’re used to carrying the weight of the world, and when most of the people in your life happily let you do it, how do you willingly let that burden pass to someone else?How do you allow someone to share in that weight?
How hard is it to just let go? How much courage must she have to allow this wonderful man into her life, letting him be the man in her life? He truly can be the stereotypical tough/tender man, when he needs to be. The burning question to her is this:
Can she… will she let him?
Never having been one to stand on typical gender roles, she’s not afraid of opening her own doors and doesn’t expect any man to stand when she enters a room. But he does both. Of his own accord. Without being sarcastic about it. He truly, genuinely respects her enough and is that much of a southern gentleman.
She can’t help but wait for the other shoe to drop. No, he’s not perfect. There are many obstacles to overcome, on both sides of the equation. At the root of all, he’s honest, and real, and solid. The rest of the games and issues and problems that have existed in the past, just aren’t there anymore.
The differences are many, but so are the similarities. Even the differences find similar truths, at their root. Their expressions are the same, their thought processes similar. The silence, when there is silence, is perhaps the most comfortable silence she’s ever felt.
She questions her courage, to love him, just as he is. Just as he loves her. Letting go of her fear of being hurt, letting go of the past and the past hurts is proving difficult for her. She finds herself taking many, many deep breaths every day, meditating more and more just to find that calm center. Just being, well, that just became a helluva lot more difficult.
Does she have the courage to not question? Does she have the courage to just accept?
Her day runs at 90 miles an hour, every day. She’s a fixer, a problem solver. Give her the problem and often she’ll give you the solution, whether you want it or not. Now she has a problem that only time can fix. She has to let go of her fear, of her pain, of her resolution to never let another man hold sway on her heart. She’s so tired of hanging onto every day, of having to dig ever deeper into that seemingly bottomless fountain of resolve that she has to dig into every day. She’s so afraid to let go of hope and just believe, convinced her heart can’t handle another breaking.
His pace is much slower, taking each step as it comes. Savoring the moments as they are, thankful for each and every one. He’s patient, and thoughtful.. steady.
Her logical mind tries to desperately reign in her heart… but it’s already gone.
And therein lies the issue. When the heart knows the truth, how do you convince the mind that all is well? That there is nothing to fear?
Her subconscious screams that patience is the way. Her heart already knows what her mind needs to wrap itself around. This is real. This isn’t going to go away.
If he hurts her.. he’ll make it right. She has no doubt of that.
The tears on her pillow are now from laughter, brought on by late night conversations, twisted inside jokes, or joy.
The distance between them will not always be there. Her mantra of late is that distance is a temporary variable.
Slowly, she’s starting to realize that maybe the other shoe isn’t going to drop, because both feet are already firmly planted on the ground.