Last night I fell asleep thinking about love. Like most women I’ve been in love several times. The first time was when I was about 8 or 9. His name was Doug and we lived in the same apartment complex in Blacksburg, VA. He held hands and whispered and when I learned I’d be moving to Okinawa we sat near a little stream where all us kids liked to search for tadpoles and frogs and had a very serious talk about waiting for each other and getting married. Yes, at 8. Then, after I got to Okinawa and Doug was but a distant memory I started going to dances on-base every Saturday night. Of course, they were heavily chaperoned, but young love will out, I fell in love with a young man named Timmy. He was even brave enough to call my house sometimes. I loved those dances where we could pretend to be grown up, dancing the cool disco dances and swaying under the disco ball to the slow dances. I loved them until he broke up with me at one. I never went to another one. Then on Midway I fell in love with someone completely inappropriate for the first time. I say the first time because it seemed to become a habit after that. I like to think that this person loved me, too, but if he did he never said so in words. Of course, I didn’t either. And it may have been a one-sided love. I’ll never know. But it’s nice to reflect on and remember. After we left Midway we moved to Port Hueneme (sp?) and I fell in love with an undocumented alien named Jaime. (How inappropriate is THAT??) My mother and stepfather were, of course, thrilled. Then we moved to San Diego I managed to not fall in love with anyone, but I did, as a high school freshman, manage to date a college sophomore. And then I we moved to Mississippi and I met the man that I would marry. I know that there are people out there who don’t believe I ever loved him. That is their right. I know, however, that I loved him with all my heart. Maybe he loved me, maybe he didn’t. At the very least he believed he loved me. We had three beautiful children together before divorcing after 17 years. Is that a failed marriage? I don’t know. I remember that when the actress who played Cagney on “Cagney & Lacey” (I can’t remember her name right now) divorced her husband of 20-some years she said she refused to define her marriage as a failure just because they were getting divorced. I kind of feel that same way. I actually believe that my divorce was a bigger failure because it got so nasty. I don’t know whether I’ll ever fall in love again. I hope so. I like being in love. I like taking care of someone I care for and who cares back. I like making supper and doing laundry and whatnot for someone I love. I don’t like doing it when I live alone, but who does? Love really does make the world go ’round, I think. Think how much better a place the world would be if we could all manage to love each other. Ahhhhh, nirvanna. I have the most perfect example of love in my life, my Grandma and Grandpa North. They were married for what seemed like forever (of course, for me it was forever since they were obviously married when I was born!) and even as he got sicker and she got weaker they lived together, alone in their home, taking care of each other. And then to continue the love, my Uncle Dale moved in with them to help my grandma take care of my grandpa when she couldn’t do it alone anymore. And then, after my grandpa passed away my othermother put in her retirement papers because she and my dad thought that they should take care of Grandma and let Uncle Dale go home. My precious grandmother died just about a month after my grandpa. They loved each other so much that they just couldn’t stand being apart. And my Dad and my Uncle and my Othermother and my Auntie Ruth loved them and each other so much that they helped to care for them at the end so that the Gs could stay in their own home with each other. I’ve always considered myself very lucky in the family department. I’m thankful for each and every one of my relatives, near and far. I want to thank you all for loving me and for helping become the person I am today. I promise that I love you enough that I’ll keep right on trying to be a better person.
Love and Family March 25, 2010