Yesterday marked twelve years of separation from a marriage of twenty-two and a half years. Which was probably two and a half years longer than it should have been. Actually, aside from the children that were born, it was twenty-two years too long. Nevertheless, these annual passages are rites of celebration. And these mid-May days are cause for celebration of an even greater magnitude, that of re-connecting with my high school sweetheart after a 27 year hiatus. Thanks to her, these have been the sweetest, happiest dozen years of my life. But, these twelve years are only the start of a new lifetime.
Tomorrow marks our twelfth anniversary of getting in touch via Facebook. (The only good thing Facebook has ever provided to me). It wasn’t long before our second first date, and, as they say, the rest is history. I can honestly say I am as in love with her today as the day I fell for her (again) almost twelve years ago. And with equal honesty, I can say I’ve never met anyone I respect or appreciate more.
We have the happy reality of loving and living with our best friend. That friendship has strengthened and grown in these twelve years enabling us to support each other in hardship, and celebrate one another’s joys. There is no better foundation for a relationship with any chance at longevity. There is no one with whom I’d rather ”do life together”.
”Lord, you know they made a fine connection.
They love each other, Lord you can see it’s true
Lord you can see it’s true, Lord you can see it’s true”
~ Grateful Dead: They Love Each Other
The other day I was on a walk, listening to an excellent audiobook called A Swim In A Pond In The Rain, by George Saunders about writing and analyzing good fiction. The narrator, while analyzing a short story by Chekov, in which a woman molds her entire life to a series of love attachments, made a statement of startlingly profound truth. Love is not blind adoration. It is not the adoption of the mannerisms, opinions, and interests of the beloved. Rather, it is a state of open, honest communication between equals.
I heartily concur. Being able to hear another’s heart and mind with an open heart and mind of your own, and being reciprocated in like fashion; this is the kind of love that is built to last. These have been the sweetest, happiest dozen years of my life. Though, it feels like these twelve years are only the start of a new lifetime. Yet, curiously, I have the simultaneous feeling that we’ve never done life separately. That’s probably because for both of us, our earlier marriages were a cheap imitation. While we are grateful for the children produced out of those unions, the one-to-one ”relational” aspects were abject shams by comparison to what we now enjoy with each other. And it is altogether fitting that they ended on the garbage heap of all shoddy wannabes.