When You Were Just About To Give Up On Love

R and K

Admittedly, I am not the greatest proponent of love these days. 

I’m nearly always the first to point out the romantic song by the debonaire man, was indeed written by a woman. That’s never been married. 

Never fearing to ask inopportune questions like: Shouldn’t we have more humble wedding ceremonies to get married? …And save the lavish celebrations for when we have fought insurmountable odds to stay married? Arguing that the day we look to our spouse and realize, Holy crap. We’re still married. is the ideal time to throw a party and spend exorbitant amounts of money to have people toast our union – With alcohol nonetheless!

Yep. I am that person.

Jaded and crushed, with a knack for making people uncomfortable with my (many) observations about love, and a heart – and a marriage – that has been shaken to the core. You can find me sitting in the back half of any wedding ceremony, bowing my head in heartfelt prayer for the lovely couple exchanging their vows like I did all those years ago…

A prayer they’d be blessed with the marriage I never had: 

An uneventful one.

But I was terribly wrong…

I realized this the night my family and I gathered in our pajamas, around a 70-year-old man telling a story so touching, he had us hanging on every word that he spoke.

They had asked him about his wife. That’s all I knew, because from that point on he trailed off in a flurry of Spanish I couldn’t comprehend.

Yet regardless of the different languages we spoke, it became obvious by the way his eyes danced and by the way he gripped furiously at his heart, that him and I knew the same kind of love:  Intoxicating. Passionate… Heartbreaking.

Later that night my husband helped me piece the story together, and to my surprise I found it more riveting than I imagined.

… How his first wife had suffered a stroke at a young age while singing in church. I recalled how he bellowed the verses of the hymn that night, stopping at the exact place in the song where her health – and their lives – had changed forever.

…How she spent the next 8 days in a coma, stiff as a table, he said. And how each time he spoke to her – each time he leaned in close to whisper his love for her, in no doubt the same somber tone he spoke in that night – how her heart would respond. Literally. On the EKG! How he illustrated the rise and fall of her heart with his finger in the air, and gripped his heart describing the agony of having to let her go…

…How years after she passed, he got a second chance at love with an unlikely woman nearly half his age and living in Colombia, South America. Remembering how his voice livened and his eyes danced, making us laugh as we watched the 70-year-old man transform into that of a dopey young boy when describing the first kiss they shared. 

….But that this love wouldn’t be free of heartache either…

…How for years they were separated from each other, working tirelessly to get her a visa. Only seeing each other three times in the first three years of their marriage!!! Until finally, the day came where she was given permission to come to the U.S.

But there was a catch: He would have to come get her himself, rightthatsecond! Forcing him to put his humble job cleaning movie theaters on the line, and spend the great sum of money (he didn’t have) to drop everything in a moment’s notice to retrieve the woman he loved. How even still, he accepted the risks – traveling great lengths and sacrificing EVERYTHING in his attempt to get his wife back!

That night it was obvious to each of us, the frail man in the corner of the room had fought tirelessly for love …And, that by the grin on his face, He had won!

They’ve been together ever since… my husband concluded. And my heart jumped forgetting for a moment how jaded ‘we’ are these days.

And I realized,

I too, was set in a tragic story of unbearable loss and tireless sacrifice…But that like him, it was a love story nonetheless!

And what I learned that night captivated by the man I could barely understand was,

The love stories most harrowing, catch our attention and captivate our spirit in a way those void of all conflict ever could!

That just like the man who entranced me with the love story he had lived:

– It was in the heartbreaking final breaths of his first love that he learned what so few ever have – that her heart had always responded to the sound of his voice!

– It was in the unbearable miles and years that separated him from his wife, that she came to know the great lengths her husband would travel and the sacrifices he would make in order to fight for her! 

…That oftentimes, it’s amid the desolation the rarest treasures unearth.

Because maybe, just maybe, there is significance to be discovered in our most heart wrenching pangs, an unlikely strength awakened by our deepest sorrows. Uncharted territory we may never have wandered upon – A story never written had it not been for that wrong turn or the turbulent storm that blew us off course and shook everything we believed to the core.

And that’s when I realized how terribly wrong I had been…

The greatest gift in marriage would NOT be an uneventful one, free of all struggle and tragedy; but a marriage that has lived a love story worth telling!

A marriage that has basked in the grandeur of the uttermost heights, and who’ve crawled relentlessly on their hands and knees to get there. Whose eyes have danced in love’s intoxication, and who have gripped their heart in agony at love’s unbearable loss. A love that displays both the scars they earned in battle, and a smile on their face knowing, they won!

A love story worth telling huddled around in our pajamas until the sun comes up. For generations and generations. No matter the language. 

A love story so harrowing, it catches the attention and captivates the spirit, of even those like me –

…Who were just about to give up on love.

Krista Signature

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2 thoughts on “When You Were Just About To Give Up On Love

  1. Your words ring so true in my heart today! I was given a diagnosis in June, after a complete hysterectomy, of ovarian cancer. Stage 3a. Have been in chemotherapy since. The first chemo meds didn’t do the job, so today I begin the 2nd combination. Through it all, I have never seen such devotion and care and compassion from my husband! Not that it wasn’t there, it was just brought to light through recent events. We have 2 sons who are grown and married. One lives 2 states away. They have been more faithful than ever to call me and love on me like they never have before! Granted, their wives play a part in that, and for that I’m grateful as well! They’re the daughters I never had.

    I say all that to say thank you for reminding us to treasure even the hard times. They make us appreciate the good times when the road is smooth. This rocky one is hard, but God is with us! Emmanel. Never leaves. Never forsakes. Fights for us. He’s so good. Thank you, Krista, for being His light.

    • Karen, I just want you to know I have been praying for you like CRAZY these last few weeks. I was commenting on here to tell you that, but then realized my last comment never posted! So sorry about not responding sooner.

      Your story inspired me so much, knowing that you are in the midst of a hard time yourself but cherishing how it makes you see the smoother times, is POWERFUL beyond what I can adequately describe. Thank you for sharing your heart and encouraging me in the process. I will continue praying for you daily Karen. And I mean that! (I pray when I say I am going to pray! 🙂

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