Love the Umpteenth Time Around . . .

Remember the song, “When I Fall in Love, it will be forever . . .”? That is exactly what I thought when I fell in love for the very first time. I remember it well. It was 5th grade, South Side School, Miss Davis, who, incidentally, delighted in thumping me on the head with a ruler. His name was Joe. It was serious. Joe gave me his necklace with a silver basketball. I wore it 8 days. That was my first clue that love is fleeting.

In 6th grade, the teacher caught me passing a note to my new heart-throb, although I forget his name. It was mortification time, and I was certain I would never recover, but I did.

As the school girl crushes came and went, I remember high school and my football hero, Dan. This was the real thing! I was 16, all grown up and knew I had found “The One”!! He wasn’t, but the memory is sweet as he was my first “car” date, and the first “young man” I took to meet my dad.

One boy kept asking me out, but I only had eyes for Dan. This other boy, whom I will call Xavier for the sake of anonymity, would not give up! (if his name had been Xavier, I may have dated him!) He knew where I lived. He visited my mother. Xavier became the topic of dinner conversations. Mom would tell me I should date him. I would tell mom I shouldn’t. Mom and Xavier would cook up these drop by times so Xavier would just happen to catch me at home. The more he insisted that we get together, the faster I ran away. He settled for friendship, and for many years we remained friends, although I have heard that his flame for me took several years to extinguish. Seeing the man he became, and his ambition in life, I have never regretted not dating him, and it was fun, years later, to tell Mom she was wrong!

I met “Husband” when I was 20. He truly did take my breath away. We both worked at Norge, a factory manufacturing washers and dryers. We would spend lunch hours together, then started dating in June, and married in September. I will not keep you awake with the ugly details. The marriage lasted 36 years, 3 months and 3 days, but who is counting? This was probably 30 years longer than it should have lasted, but times were very different then. Love can be blind and deaf and dumb.

Today, I am interested in a special guy. He caused my heart to beat again because of his honesty, his integrity, his work ethic, and he’s very cute and tall and strong. Do I love him? Ask me in 6 months, a year, a lifetime . . .

Has he made me cry? Yes. Have I vowed to walk away and never look his way again? Yes. Have I felt like caring was way too hard? Certainly. For the many of us who open ourselves up to love, the second time around, we find issues and baggage and fears and aches and lack of trust and independence and freedom and many insecurities blocking our view. Simply put, to love is to preservere.

The first time our heart thumps, we dance in the sunshine, skip through the buttercups, and throw caution to the wind, but later in life, we step through the sticker bushes, creep through the clouds, and find caution too heavy to throw.

Life Lesson – I have learned more about what love isn’t that what it is. Regardless of the number of hit and misses, love lives in that part of your heart where you are more concerned about the other person than you are for yourself. Until you will give up the last slice of apple pie, or be willing to sit up all night nursing their fever after working all day, or will let him go first at the DMV, you can call it many names, but it’s not love.

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