Friday, March 8, 2013

Day 15 {31 Days of Grace}: First came love...

In keeping with tradition, I'd jumped head first into this relationship.

The build-up to the first date was so intense that by the time it rolled around, I was already in love (thankfully, I kept that to myself for a while).

I'd been attracted to other boys/men before, but never before felt the (almost visible) spark that I felt with E.  
In the beginning, we spent every possible moment together.  We had class together 4 days a week, but that didn't stop us from fitting in as much couple time as possible. It must have been dreadful to be around us!

I know I looked at him with goo-goo eyes for months and months.
A couple of months in, I'd started telling him "I Love you" whenever we were saying good-bye, even though he wasn't saying it back.

Summer came and he went home to work while I stayed in Raleigh for school.

That saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder..." very true! I had never missed someone so much in all my life. That summer was simply torture between visits...he was working full time construction with his Dad all summer while I attended summer school and worked 2 part-time retail jobs.

I was tired and stressed and I missed my boyfriend.
I just wanted E to wrap his arms around me and never let go.

As far as relationships went, I was ALL IN!

Now, here I was, in his bed at his parents home over July 4th weekend.  We'd been dating for almost 5 months, but it may as well have been 5 years.  I couldn't imagine my life without him.
I'd driven 3 hours by myself to see him after being apart for several weeks.  

We'd had 3 great days and nights together in his hometown.
We watched fireworks with another couple.
We went to a movie. Played pool with his friends.

We just hung out with his family.  His Mom took LOTS of pictures.

She'd let us sleep in the same room together while I was there. He and his brother shared a room and there were 2 twin beds.  Poor brother got the couch that week! 
At night, after everyone was in bed, I'd cross the room and climb into bed with him and we'd spoon all night long in a twin size bed.  He'd set an alarm for really early so I would be back in my bed before anyone could check on us.

It had really been a wonderful visit, except for one thing...

...this nagging voice in the back of my mind telling me he didn't feel the same way about me.

I'd invested my whole heart, soul, and body in this relationship; something I'd done in the past with less than stellar results.

I loved him very much and was very much IN LOVE with him.  BUT, I knew it - I was going to have to make a decision when I got home.

If he didn't love me, I couldn't drag this out.  It would hurt, but I couldn't lose another 3 years of my life to someone who didn't intend to commit or didn't reciprocate my feelings.

I thought about all of this as I showered and packed up to leave.  The next day would mean back to school and back to work.  Back to being 3 hours away from someone I'd given my heart to. 
As much as I tried to hide it, I couldn't keep my sadness to myself.
I really felt like the relationship was over.
I wondered if saying goodbye to him when I left might be a more permanent goodbye.

I packed the car and he helped.  I went back to check for anything I might have forgotten.  
We sat on the bed and kissed goodbye.

As I pulled away and opened my eyes, there it was, "I Love You."
Only it was more like luvyou...all shoved together and barely audible, but I heard.

I thought my heart would burst from sheer joy!  So unexpected, and though I'd wished for it a thousand times, it sounded so much sweeter when he finally said it.

He walked me to the car to see me off.  As he kissed me again, he asked, "Did you know I was going to say it?" He was pretty pleased with himself, I think.

But how sweet that it was such a big deal to him! I knew he had never told a girl he loved her until me.

And to this day, I am the only girl, besides his Mom and our daughter, that has had the privilege to receive those words from him.

I'd say, I'm pretty blessed!


I wanted to try a different "voice" for my look-back today; to try and remember what I was feeling and seeing and hearing.  I wanted to try and write it the way I would have back then - almost 16 years ago.

And this was a good subject for me today because it brought tears of joy and reminded me that when life makes love hard, it helps to remember when love was new.

This is the first year in the past several that I have not suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Self-diagnosed, but extremely debilitating, depression, that for the last couple of winters has made life very unpleasant and unproductive.  It's a months long funk that I struggle to climb out of.

Today I worried that I had not escaped the winter unscathed, as I had one of "those days."  The ones where you can't seem to get anything right so you just quit trying...or look in the mirror and not recognize the one looking back at you...or ask yourself, "is this really where you thought you'd be at 37 years old?"

Praise God tomorrow is a new day!

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