The Rarest of Things

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I’ve always been a guarded person, badly scared by situations in which my trust was horribly violated. The many abusers, bullies, perpetrators, and violators precipitated my extreme cautiousness, and my wounds have frequently gotten in the way of relationships. That’s not to say, however, that there aren’t many lovely souls about whom I care deeply. I can, however, safely say that I can count on one hand those who hold the largest pieces of real estate in my heart. One such individual is my beloved husband, Michael.

Mike and I met a few years after my divorce and following one fairly serious relationship and a string of several meaningless ones. I felt like I’d been through the ringer when my Yahoo Personals ad led him to me. The only reason he was even on Yahoo Personals was that his roommate had, without his knowledge, placed an ad there for him. His reply was intelligent, honest, and funny – all the things I was looking for. We exchanged phone numbers via instant messenger, and he called me. The connection was instant. We talked for hours. At the end of our conversation, I agreed to meet him at my favorite restaurant, which wasn’t far from his apartment. I’d been through numerous blind dates, at this point, and, frankly, I wasn’t very confident that this one would be any different. But it was. He was handsome and funny and charming, just like he was on the phone. I felt comfortable with him instantly like I’d known him for years. In fact, I felt comfortable enough to invite him back to my apartment, something I’d rarely done on a first date. He was a perfect gentleman, though, thus confirming my instincts about him.

It might sound like a cliché or some kind of fiction, but we’ve been inseparable ever since that first date. In fact, not a single day has gone by, since the day we met, that we haven’t spoken to one another, even before we lived together, and, even after we were married, at times when we were apart physically. That’s pretty remarkable for someone with the history I mentioned previously. It takes someone with an extraordinary capacity for nurturing to heal an animal as badly wounded as I was. It took time and great patience. He worked diligently, with surgeon-like skill, to heal the wounded hearts of my daughters. He was always there, and that proved his commitment to them. Ultimately, he earned their love and trust, too. I couldn’t have found a better father or a better husband. It was clear. The remarkable part, though, was that he, like me, had been through more than his share of heartbreak, mistreatment, and pain. The odds of us finding one another, in the whole wide world, and being able to overcome the wounds of our respective pasts were pretty slim, and yet, we did. We’ll have been married seventeen years in September.

A couple years ago, during the winter of 2016, Mike had to travel out-of-state to train for his new job. He and I were apart for some of the longest periods of time we’d ever experienced since that first day we met. During this time, I happened upon and fell in love with a song by Nathan Sykes (featuring Ariana Grande) that had recently been released. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, music has always had the most profound effect on me, and the lyrics of this song were like a window into my deepest feelings:

From the way you smile to the way you look, you capture me unlike no other. From the first hello, yeah, that’s all it took, and, suddenly, we had each other. I won’t leave you. I’ll always be true. One plus one is two, for life, over and over again.

So, don’t ever think I need more, ‘cause I’ve got the one to live for. No one else will do, and I’m telling you, just put your heart in my hands. I promise it won’t get broken. We’ll never forget this moment. Yeah, we’ll stay brand new, ‘cause I’ll love you over and over again.

It’s a rare thing, in this universe, when we find something that meets almost every need we have. When and if you find that, my friends, be aware that you are so, so lucky and never ever take it for granted. I surely will not.

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