It took becoming unloved to be loved.
In last evening’s post, I paid honor to my thirteen years of marriage and the simple acts of love that float within that space. What I didn’t mention was how its existence was shaped through first being unfelled, unkissed, untouched, unraveled… (a love tap to my March 1 post).
Even now it gives me chills…we were never in love with each other, yet we shared in the greatest act of love that I will ever experience. We had nothing (no money, no stuff, no family living close, no kids thank goodness) and that made it even scarier, I think — we were making life work in our unsteady late-twenties because we were together.
To imagine going it alone was an idea we could have easily resisted in our expectation to travel the typical, world-imposed narrative. We could have let the anticipated hurt of our parents and friends be an excuse for our fear. We could have chosen to compromise our best selves while our piles of photos thickened along with our disappointment. We could have held tight and bowed to a set of rules that didn’t apply to the suffocation we were dying to unbreathe. And I will tell you, we would have had an okay life — one so stunningly mediocre it would have blinded us with its rays of sunshine.
But we didn’t. We said undo.
This past January, we would have been married 16 years (let that decade + 6 sink in). Instead of celebrating an anniversary, I was able to lift a cheers to the greatest memory of love I own…
We stood in the courthouse and passed the pen. Paragraphed law and numbered sections captured our shaky signatures and teardrops. We knew that everything after those smeared strokes was unknown and it took every ounce of courage and humility to follow through with what we knew was right (right being so drastically different than easy). We jumped into a can’t-have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too-free-fall that day. Screaming on the inside, silent on the outside…we unraveled. We took our rings off, shared a final embrace and walked away from spurious duality and into undeniable individuality.
I know love because of un-
Our final gift to one another was a hand-off of unstolen time….
13 years, 4745 days, 113880 hours. Love.