Oh to be young and in love

Spouse called to check in on me tonight after my health episode. Truth be told, it was difficult to get through without him. My new people stepped up, but I wasn’t supposed to even have those people. I am married. I was supposed to have a husband. And I don’t.

I’m still in some pain and feeling tender and not quite myself, so the conversation went there pretty quickly. We were both in tears. I asked him the question I ask myself all the time “Why didn’t it work? We loved each other so much.”

If that question had a simple answer, we may not have to ask it. There are a lot of answers and it’s tempting to fit it into a neat narrative. But that wouldn’t be honest or fair. In fact, we decided tonight that doing so may actually tarnish the beauty and rarity of what we did have.

Facebook reminded Spouse of a photo of he and I snuggling in bed with our first dog. In the picture I am looking at Spouse with the kind of adoration and love that you just can’t fake. He told me that when he saw the photo he could remember a time when I looked at him that way. He said he could remember when he deserved it and he remembered I continued to look at him that way long after he deserved it..

Spouse is incredibly intelligent and incredibly afraid of letting others in, emotionally. When I met his family, they told me they had never seen him so happy as he was with me. He attributed this to the fact that he never felt he could truly be himself with them of with anyone. He told me then and reaffirmed tonight that when we met, it was the first time in his life that he felt maybe another person could know him and understand him. He began to show himself fully and fearlessly, censoring only ever so slightly.

That time, which cannot be defined by dates or eras or legal status, was ecstasy. We met, and in typical me fashion, I said “you” and focused all my attention on making him mine. We fell quickly, fully and without fear. Within weeks, I was intending to spend the rest of my life with him and he me. We empowered one another, made one another smile and laugh and discussed everything. We melded our lives easily and without question.

There was a moment tonight when I wondered if I would ever have it again. That experience that words cannot even begin to adequately describe, that love. And we agreed: no. Neither he nor I would ever have that again. Because to be young and in love is truly a unique and impossible to replicate experience. And I feel unbelievably grateful to have had so much of it with such a special man.

We will both love again. I’m sure of it. But we will never love with such recklessness and fearlessness. We will never fall so hard and so deep and so fast quite like that again. We agreed and reaffirmed something we’ve felt all along: just because it changed doesn’t mean it was a mistake. It was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever been a part of.

 

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