“The love we had will never fade for it’s locked away in the deepest cave.” ~Erin Hente
I remember the day I met him back in 1997. A friend of a friend asked me to take her home after school and I obligingly said yes. Just down the street from her house was a local park and as we drove by she recognized a guy from a distance that was sitting on the park bench. As we circled down the drive to get to the park, I found myself face to face with him. I rolled down my window, so my friend could say hello, and at that moment we locked eyes and I could feel the swarm of butterflies flittering in my heart. My head was spinning and no words could escape my lips. Next thing I knew he was jumping into the back seat of my car to ride along as we took our friend home.
On the way back home, we made a pitstop at McDonald’s and I apparently bought him a happy meal (that’s the story he told me anyhow, because I must’ve been having an outer body experience). Maybe I felt sorry for him or maybe that was my way of secretly telling him how happy he made me that day. After I dropped him off at the park, we said our goodbyes and I recall hoping that our paths would cross again someday. You may be wondering why he didn’t just enter his digits into my phone, but this was 1997 (I was age 17) when bag phones were still a thing and also he didn’t have any digits to give me. I later found out that he had been kicked out of his parents house and was staying with friends. That would’ve been a great pick up line. “Call me. I’m homeless.” Don’t judge him…he was the ONE!
Six months later, I was hanging out at a friend’s apartment after school and I knew she had some new roommates moving in that I wanted to meet. There were three guys who showed up shortly after I arrived (yes, her new roommates) and there HE was walking up the stairs. As soon as we locked eyes I knew it was him. There was a undeniable force pulling us together and eventually as our friendship developed we stopped resisting and acknowledged (thanks to my friend, Natalie’s, encouragement) that we were in LOVE. I knew that this kind, generous, compassionate soul had become mine.
Twenty three years have passed and even with the trials life dealt us, the three beautiful children we’d raised, and the sudden force of being ripped apart in this universe by death…The love I carry for this man will never fade.
A man who was more deserving of life than anyone I know.
A man that showed me how to love even when I felt unlovable.
A man whom I continue to live and embrace life for each and every day.
My heart expands just thinking about the love we shared and while YES his absence from this world sometimes makes my heart yearn for….
one more kiss,
his gentle touch, or
the warm breath that whispered “I love you” in my ear.
His absence has also made our love grow deeper, stronger, and expanded my heart in unbelievable ways. For you see, the day Andy died I thought I’d lost the pieces of my heart that shattered into oblivion, but God was just making space for all the love I still have left to give as well as receive. I do not know who will be chosen next for my life, but what I am certain of is that whomever that person is will receive a person who has the capacity to love far beyond the reaches of space and time.
She can love YOU, because she is loved by GOD.
She can love YOU, because she loves HERSELF.
She can love YOU, because she was loved by HIM.
Valentine’s Day is a special day to honor those that you love now, will love in the future, and those that you continue to carry love for from the past. For all that you’ve been given, may your heart never stop yearning for more.
P.S. I love you.