I worry about writing “too many depressing things” on my blog and so I stretch to find positive things to say, while at the same time not sugar-coating the pain in my life either. It is the mental equivalent of tight-rope walking, and I can’t say for sure if there is a net down there. Today I have something positive to share, a bright shining diamond if you will, but in order to appreciate it, I need to also share the contrast…if you will bear with me there is a happy ending here.
I have been struggling with feelings of abandonment. Remember the dream I told you about in “Emotional Sinkholes”? I feel like that dream…left alone in the dark, abandoned. These intense feelings of abandonment rise up at odd times, like a crack in the sidewalk to trip me up as a stroll along through life. They usually cause me to fall, and yes, cry. Tonight was one of those times; complete with cleansing tears, and some very serious wondering if this (abandonment) is how all relationships end. (It embarrasses me to be so emotional and irrational at times, but emotion is rarely rational…and I did promise to be honest).
Fortunately not all rationality had left me and I began to think about people in my life that have been faithful and constant. Their faces (some of yours) coming before me were a huge comfort. There was one in particular that seemed to melt away the icy cold pain. My husband.
How can I explain him? There is so much I could say, but I’ll try to keep it brief. He is the most patient, and yet the most tenacious person I know. Our families would say stubborn, but I always tell them (with a laugh) that when that stubbornness is helping them, they will see the value in it. Those words that I have said for years, have never felt truer than they do right now. As I was pondering (in my emotionally irrational state) if all relationships end in abandonment, I remembered my Prince Charming and his mind-boggling tenacity, his tender love, his patience…and I knew, I KNEW that no matter what happens he will be there for me. What a comfort!
Would you like to hear the story of how such a love began?
I was living in Bethel, Alaska. It was March, the coldest, darkest month of the year. At that time of the year in that part of Alaska, the sun is only out for a couple hours a day. I was working overnight shift (not by choice), and thus hadn’t seen the sun for a while. That and it was bitter cold. There had been a week of -80 degree wind chill. I had had it. So I decided to take a few days off and visit Portland, Oregon. (There was not enough time or money to go to Hawaii.)
I took a small plane from Bethel to Anchorage. (Did you know there are no roads between the two? You have to fly.) When I got to Anchorage, I was surprised to see a friend from Bethel. In the “what are you doing here?” conversation that followed I found out that she had been in Anchorage visiting her sister and was now, like me, on her way to Portland. She was going to visit family. We talked to the flight attendants and made arrangements to sit together on the flight. During the flight she said, “I hate for you to spend your time in Portland all alone. Why don’t I call my single son and see if he will be your tour guide?”
I said sure.
—If I might interject here—it is not that I didn’t know the huge failure rate of blind dates! But even though the men out-number the women in Alaska 7 to 1, only one of those single men was in Bethel. This was no time to be picky—
We had talked about this “single son” on many occasions. She said things like, “I have a son that would just love a girl like you that is willing to rough-it in Bethel.”
“Does it count if I hate it here?” I asked.
Another time she confided that she didn’t think he would ever get married because he had this long list of what he wanted in a future wife. Of course, I had to enquire what was on the list (curiosity more than politeness driving me). As she told me items from the list, I laughed and said, “that’s me” over and over. Please don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t ‘desperate’. I didn’t care for Bethel, but I was otherwise happy with my life. I was making good money and I had plans for the future.
He was equally aware of the “blind date taboos”, but agreed to meet me anyway. He came to my hotel riding a motorcycle (his only transportation at the time). Between that and his leather jacket, I felt sure he was some kind of “Fonzie wannabe”. . .and yes, I was a little concerned. (Looking back, I understand that having a motorcycle was a matter of being frugal and saving gas, and the leather jacket was safety equipment.)
The rest of the date was like magic. I don’t mean magic in a “love at first sight” kind of way. It was better actually. He felt like an old friend, someone I had known forever and could relax and be myself with. Really what more could you ask for on a first date?
Too soon it was time for me to return to Bethel. He suggested we exchange addresses, but then warned that he is a terrible letter writer. He is! Long-distance relationships are difficult, especially fledgling relationships like ours…so I did the only thing I could…I moved to Portland.
He teases me about this to this day; he loves to tell people how I “chased him”. But you, dear reader, understand that I was not happy in Bethel and looking to leave anyway. I loved Portland which is why I chose to take my time off there…so moving there was completely logical. You believe me don’t you?
Well…even if you think I was simply love struck and completely foolish (I swear that wasn’t it!), the results speak for themselves…more than 15 yrs later we are still living the dream of…
Happily Ever After