on this day – ten years ago – i was in anticipation. after about six months of letters via email, we were about to meet in person. we talked about it over glasses of wine on bar stools in a real bistro last night.
i can remember wondering. what this guy – who i had virtually shared my days with – would be like. would he be sincere in person…would he be fun…would he be as easy to talk to side by side as he was in writing and, the big one, what he would look like, what i would see in his eyes. i had seen the tiniest of tiny photographs – a thumbprint size – and that was it. i was looking for a man in the great big baggage claim of o’hare airport who, in all likelihood, i would not recognize.
there he was, jeans, boots, black shirt, backpack, rollybag. i knew him right away.
it hasn’t been a piece-o-cake ten years. there have been roiling rapids in the river and hidden boulders of challenge. we have faced down storms and weather systems. we have had our share of loss. we have gone from truly-middle-middle-age to a-wee-past-middle-middle-age. our bodies show it. our priorities show it. we haven’t the shared luggage of a journey before this decade together; instead we have separate baggage of tens-of-years long before we met. we have learned the skills of listening to all these stories, to generously entertain redundancy, to compassionately help each other sort. we have learned the complexities of a middle-age relationship, for there are many. you arrive where you are and that is a little further down the road. we have learned that dancing in the kitchen is tantamount to happy-making. we have learned that cooking – together – is affirming and feeds us in more ways than we realized. we have learned that walking arm in arm – with a skip every now and again – centers us.
time will continue to fly by. our dogga will soon be ten and we all miss our babycat. together we have seen my sweet momma on to the next and we have seen his dad on. we have moved children and criss-crossed the country to see them. there will be loss and there will be elation. the ribbon we carry in our pocket ties us to gossamer reminders of each and of our capacity to adjust.
there are those of you out there – who are trying this all on for size. trying on middle-age relationship, trying on new relationship at any age. there are times that it may seem insurmountable, maybe even sooo-not-worth-it.
but it is.
we have learned that it all counts.
and for that – the good wine.
read DAVID’s thoughts this SATURDAY MORNING
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