The Love of Your Life

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I need your help; your input.

You see, a very important anniversary rapidly approaches.

It’s not one celebrated with balloons, magnums of champagne or even a card.

It’s an auspicious day that only I hold dear and I’ll acknowledge it as I always do—in the quiet of dawn or at the end of the day in the relative tranquility of an Southeast Texas sunset.

I’ll take a moment–after almost four decades, that’s really all the time I can afford to give it– and I’ll remember that one truly innocent time in my life when I believed in magic and forever. It was a love so abiding that I have yet to duplicate its intensity.

Frankly, that sad reality has made my adulthood rather bittersweet.

I don’t obsess, but I think about him from time to time. I think about what we once were. How I felt and the millions of reasons why it made me feel so incredibly special.

I can remember looking into those blue eyes of his–how they all but disappeared when he smiled. In them, I saw the best that life had to offer. It didn’t matter that I–we were as young as we were. Love is love.

I pray that someday I’ll find that again, but I don’t think I will.

What I had with him was unique; most definitely “once in a lifetime”.

Then again, all first romances are.

But MM represents more than just a relationship. He also represents a time and a place that felt safe and secure. I felt safe and secure.   It was the last time my family was a cohesive unit.  Before the anger, the resentment….the divorce.     

Life was good to begin with; that I was in love to the degree I was in love, was just icing on the cake.

And it was an incredibly sweet time.  Every song from that time, the smells, the style of clothes, the movies, the TV shows…My God, has it really been 36 years?

I wonder if he ever thinks of me?

Does he even remember?

Did I mean as much to him?

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Love is a funny thing.

We never know its true depth until we’re no longer in it’s throws.

Sometimes, love is enduring.

Sometimes it’s fleeting, but it’s always impacting.

Always.

So, in honor of the love of my life, I want to know about yours. Who was it? When was it? And why this person in particular? How and why did he or she capture your heart? And what happened?

Tell me about it. Please leave a comment here.

I’m going to write a special post which will be published in the coming weeks. And I’d like to include your stories, too. Make up a name–I don’t care, but I would like your real age and the city you now call home. This post, by the way, will remain up for a few days. I want to get as many stories as possible.

Share with me won’t you? Your experience with real love, that wonderfully confounding emblem of eternity.

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Time is too slow for those who wait…too swift for those who fear… too long for those who grieve,too short for those who rejoice,….but for those who love, time is forever.
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~Henry Van Dyke

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16 comments

  1. My Love was incredible. That’s what I called her was MyLove. She was in my life for only five years and the time that we’ve been apart will be equal to that in a few months. I met her here in Houston and it was very much by chance which makes it even more romantic. With gentle words she turned my hard heart into something soft. I had a habit of cursing. Instead of telling me to stop she would say, “you’re better than that Jules. You are so much better than that.” She said it sweetly and softly. It’s said a woman can’t change a man… but she did. She definitely changed me for the better.

    We got married at the old Allen Park Inn on Allen Parkway in April of 2001. After dancing with friends downtown we went back, still in our wedding attire and as we made our way to our room I asked her to sit with me. She asked why. I said, “so when we celebrate our 20th anniversary we can come back to this bench and remember our wedding night.” We sat… silent, holding each other’s hands for about a minute.

    The Allen Park Inn got damaged beyond repair by Tropical Storm Allison two months later. The bench is gone as well as the rose garden where we got married. It was a storm that washed so much away in Houston. Two years later, MyLove, was gone… washed away by the storms of life I didn’t see to shelter her from. I miss her so.

    Thanks Laurie for asking people to post their stories. This was cathartic.
    Jules
    UU Deist in Texas

  2. The love of my life found me when I was 40 (I’m now 42). She opened windows and doors to the world for me; helped me remember the importance of many things I’d forgotten or left behind in my busy life that was filled with raising kids and trying to be a career man. Our love evolved while lying on a blanket on summer days and looking up through canopies of leaves into a clear blue sky. We share everything. We trust completely.

    Miles separate us and keep us from expanding our relationship in the traditional sense. But our love and friendship exists – even through hardships and difficulties caused by distance and differences. She is my best friend. She’ll always be my most beloved.

  3. Like you, I was in love–really–in love, just once. I was in college in Mississippi back in the 80’s. I’m a Texas girl, like you Laurie and Mike was a handsome, strapping boy from what we’d call “good Southern stock”. I met him at a party and was taken by his charm, his wit. I was drawn to him like a moth to a flame. We dated for just over three months. We fell hard and heavy for each other. I looked in his green eyes and could see the rest of my life. His father died and he had to go back to Atlanta to settle his affairs. He ended up staying there and not coming back to Ole Miss. We saw each other a few times and tried to make a long distance relationship work by whittling away at the miles through phone calls.

    But it wasn’t sustainable. He stopped calling. And I stopped hoping.

    Twenty two years later, I still think about him. I know he got married. As did I, but it didn’t last. It wasn’t because of Mike. Well, maybe it was. I don’t know. I can’t help but think that Mike was and always will be the love of my life. If in the years to come, that turns out to NOT be the case, I know he’s definitely the one that got away.

    Thank you for this opportunity, Laurie. Here’s to you and the love of your life on August 31st. I have a feeling he has NO idea what he missed out on.

  4. I agree with what you wrote, Laurie. Love. We never know its true depth until we’re no longer in its throws. I met the love of my life five years ago while completing some coursework. . He was simple yet smart, the kind of guy who makes your heart melt with one look. When I was with him it was like time stood still and nothing at all mattered. All I knew then was that I had found my soulmate. However, the class ended and a job opportunity brought me to London, and that meant leaving him behind. I tried a long distance relationship, but that didn’t work. I’ve always wondered if we both tried hard enough.

    It’s been two years since I’ve seen him and we still talk though infrequently. When we do, the subject in general–about the weather and work. I feel sure that I’ve lost my chance at a relationship with him. I feel responsible; s though I let it slip through my fingers. Sad too, because I feel as though nothing can be done.

  5. Hard to say if “RJ” was the love of my life. I felt his love.
    I knew I held so deep of a passion for him that it sometimes hurt to look at him.
    We met in college in Texas. He was the first serious person in my life after a tough break up with a former fiancee.
    I found it hard to love again and was happy that I could say I found love with him.
    I learned much from him and I helped him along when I could. We were a great team – but so very passionate and emotional. We shared a love of art.
    But alas, he is now married. Moved on and it’s been 5 years.
    All that said I’m convinced that my true love has yet to come. I am still wondering if he ever will.
    And so far no one has made me feel quite the same way ever again.
    Maybe time will tell.

  6. He and I met in the summer of 1970. So very young-so long ago. He was the love of my life for the next 6 years. We talked about marriage a few times-what young teens don’t in their relationships. Ours was a sweet, innocent kind of love that I have never felt since.

    We moved on and married other people. I continue to think about him at times, bringing him out of the special place I keep him and then put him back for the next time. Does he think of me? I don’t know. Maybe with fondness.

    I agree with Arm Jerker J-no one after him has made me feel the same way and I will never feel that way again.

  7. The time I knew her was short but unbelievably rich and beautiful. Everything clicked without effort. Nothing else in life has been like that since. She was a an unforgettable woman.

    Thinking of you, Lori C. The world is a darker place without you in it.

  8. I know what you mean- I found the “one” only to know it wasnt to be and so far no one can compare and yet I still try. I can find him for you email me ill help yah

  9. I’ve been staring at my computer for hours trying to figure out how to begin my story of love won and love lost. I haven’t spoken about it, much less put it in writing, but here goes.

    I’m in my thirties and living in Chicago. I found your blog at the insistence of friends who discovered you first and fell in love with your writing style. We say that there are few people who can make us “laugh till we cry and cry till we laugh”. You have that remarkable ability, lady.

    You’re doing it again with this story.

    His name was David. We started out like so many young lovers. We were in college. We met in a bar and while I found him incredibly attractive, I’d always been something of a pragmatist and realized that if anything, because of the bar environment, David would be a very good looking one night stand. Well, he was, I guess. It was one that lasted three years.

    We were supposed to be married in December of 1995. It didn’t happen. David died in a car crash that May. We’d just moved in together in March.

    As I was going through his effects, enduring the painstaking process of deciding what was trash and what was treasure, I found a manuscript that he was working on. It was fairly nondescript but based on the content, I assumed it was something he was going to say or give to me on or before our wedding.

    It said:

    “Carole,

    I have the self-imposed task of coming up with words to describe what I feel for you. I’ve determined that there are no words. Anything I would try to say would fall short of how I really feel. And my sweet Carole, I feel so much.

    I’ve never known love like this. I love you with an intensity and force that boggles my mind. I had no idea I had the capacity to love this much. Thank you for this gift. Thank you for showing me the real beauty of life.

    I want to spend the rest of my life with you Carole and I’m honored and deeply grateful that you and I will….”

    That’s how it ended. It was unfinished. Much like our relationship.

    I sat at his desk for hours after reading that. Time stood still. When I finally came to my senses I was incredibly moved by the fact that that my David got what he wanted. He did spend the rest of his life with me.

    And I’ll spend the rest of mine missing him, the love of my life.

    I can type no more, Laurie. I can’t, but thank you.

    Really.

  10. I met her on a Saturday in October. The seasons were changing. Yellow flowers were turning in the the the golden fall foliage one equates with Autumn. Football was in full swing and I was invited to a friend’s house to watch a Notre Dame game.

    She was a weekend house guest (a sorority sister of one of my friend’s friends) and I’d never seen her before. I remember looking at her the first time. She wasn’t drop dead gorgeous, but there was something about her. I was at the buffet table, helping myself to something and I looked up and she was on the other side of the table. We looked at each other and smiled. I made some stupid jokes about the dip and she laughed. We spent the rest of the evening talking and laughing. By 9 pm, Notre Dame had won and she’d won me over too.

    Long story short. She was separated and was torn between a life with her husband and a life apart from him. In the weeks and months that followed our first meeting, I was nothing more than a friend to her, listening to her. I was hard not to tell her to run like hell from the jerk ass husband of hers and spend the rest of her life with me. BUT NO!!! Chivalrous A-hole that I am, I helped her decide to go back to her husband.

    My friends tell me that the appeal of this woman was that I couldn’t have her. I don’t think that’s true. What I felt was real. I’m not exactly sure if it was love but it was a deep, abiding emotion.

    So here I am. A nice guy in search of a nice lady. Hey Kendrick, you’re single, right?

    If you’re ever in the mood to see Cleveland…

  11. During the summer between 6th and 7th grade my family moved into a new neighborhood. I was 12 and although I had finally realized that not all boys had cooties I wasn’t exactly boy crazy. Until I saw him. He lived several blocks from me and on a sunny afternoon I spotted him in his front yard as I explored the new neighborhood. He turned and looked at me as I walked the dog past the front of his house. He was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen – and he smiled at me! I melted. His street became the most important destination for dog walking after that.

    The first day of my seventh grade year I saw him standing on the corner across from the school grounds. I still remember exactly how he looked, what he was wearing. Long brown hair, skin tight bell bottom blue jeans, a tight fitting blue shirt, and a tan colored corduroy jacket. He took my breath away and I almost fainted when he smiled and said hello as I walked past him. For two years I watched him at school and followed him home, he probably thought I was a stalker.

    In the fall of my ninth grade an amazing event occurred. I went out to the garage to talk to my brother and ran straight into the love of my life – in my garage – talking to my brother! They were friends??!! We smiled, I blushed, I think I talked to him but can’t remember what in the world I would have said to him. Several days later as I walked through the neighborhood my brother drove up with him in the passenger seat. He asked if I needed a ride but I declined. As they pulled away I remember thinking how crazy I was not taking advantage of the opportunity to be near him. I was sure it would never happen again. When I got home he was there, he asked me to the football game on Friday night. I was in heaven.

    We became inseparable and dated through high school. Of course we had our fights and our break ups but we always found our way back to each other. On a Saturday afternoon when I was 19 and he was 20 we got married. Kids that thought they were all grown up. It didn’t last long.

    We both moved on with our lives, remarried and lived unhappily ever after. Occasionally we would look each other up and check in with each other. Our phone conversations were polite but always tinged with a bit of sadness and regret.

    Twenty-six years later, as I was checking my e-mail I got a note. This is Jim do you remember me? I smiled, my heart melted, again. He was recently divorced and I was at the end of a very bad marriage. We e-mailed, which led to phone conversations, which resulted in an embarassing amount of text messages and a phone bill that would support a third world country. Was it still there? Could we try again? Better yet, was it possible not to try again?

    As I walked through the airport my knees trembled at the idea that we was waiting at the luggage carousel. Would he still find me attractive? Would there still be a spark between us? Then I saw him. As he turned around our eyes met and my heart lept. I ran to him and into his outstretched arms. He held me so tightly, so gently, just as he had when we were just kids.

    We are together again, acting like teenagers. It’s amazing – we have enough life experience to know what we want and don’t want and we’re finally able to appreciate each other and what we have together.

  12. Hi Laurie,

    My story isn’t as poignant as some of these that are listed. I don’t guess mine will tug at anyone’s heart or won’t start someone’s waterworks. No crying fest but it’s special to me.

    I married the love of my life. We’re still married 22 years later and I’m just in love as I was when I first laid eyes on her. We have a great marriage. It’s a partnership in every sense of the word. She’s a wonderful mother to our kids. She’s everything.

    If the relationship has a flaw, it lies in the fact that we don’t tell each other we love each other enough. Sure, we do things for each other. We live a life that’s full of love and support. But we don’t say it enough. I need to tell her that I love more often and I will. Women who know they’re loved are l happier. I’m sure my wife knows I love her, but I wonder if she always feels that I do. I want my wife to also feel it when she’s not in my arms. When she’s 1500 miles away on business. When she’s shopping, washing her hair. Driving to the post office.

    I’m going to start now. I’m going to have Barbra read this blog of yours, Laurie. So she’ll have no doubt.

    I LOVE YOU, BARBRA DIANE CARSON!!!!!!

    Now you know it, Baby and so does the world! It’s all there in black and white. If I could’ve made it larger, I would.

    Your devoted husband,
    TC

  13. Hi,

    My name is Bethany. I’m 13 and I go to school (Jr. high) in Denver. My friend’s sister saw your story about love and the love of your life and she was telling my friend and me about it. We wanted to read the story for ourself because you wrote some same things that I’m having to deal with right now.

    I’m in love with Shannon. He’s 13 too and we go to the same school. He’s totally cute and so many girls crush on him. I think he likes me too. When he walks into the room, my heart flitters or whatever you call it. I’ve never felt like this before so I guess it’s love. My mom tells me I’m too young to be in love but it’s like you said in your story that love is love even at a young age.

    Every song I hear seems like it was written and sang for Shannon and me. I feel so strange. I never thought love would make me cry as much as it does.

    I know I’m just a kid and in 30 years from now I don’t know how I’ll feel about Shannon. I may not even remember him but so far at 13, he’s already the love of my life.

    Like you said, first loves always are.

    Thanks for letting me write my story 🙂

  14. The love of my life is an Englishman named Gary. I met him in Houston, when we were both 15. He was a good friend of my sister’s. One look, and I felt as if I’d known him forever. He later said the same thing about me.

    Because I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16, he dated someone else for a bit. When I turned 16, he dumped her and we started dating. We broke up every 6 weeks or so, but dated all through high school. He gave me a promise ring, we set a wedding date, and never acted on it. Even for people that young, it was a very emotionally passionate relationship–the highs were heaven; the lows were h***.

    After high school, he dumped me. I was devastated and moved to Mississippi, so I’d not have to risk seeing him with someone else. My heart couldn’t bear that.

    After moving from Mississippi to Nevada, I returned to Houton. I was getting over a brief, bad marriage. Somehow, Gary and I got in touch again, and it turns out he’d married and separated from his wife. His wife looked like a curly-haired version of me! We stayed in touch, but not much came of it due to the turmoil in both of our lives.

    A few years later, I was in my mom’s neigbhorhood and saw Gary in the grocery store! My heart leapt, but I knew I had to be careful. He saw me, and his face lit up. Even though we were both seeing others, we got back in touch with each other. When I had a car problem, he helped me once too.

    After those relationships ended, Gary and I started up again. We dated for 8 months. It came down to the type of commitment we wanted. I wanted marriage and children. He wanted to live together. Neither of us budged. He’d become Wiccan and wanted to handfast. I’m a Presbyterian and couldn’t bring myself to do so. We had an argument over a trivial matter and broke up. Within 2 weeks, he’d moved someone in with him who was happy to shack up. She was a co-worker about whom he’d been complaining for a month.

    The last time I saw Gary, he said he needed to renew his green card, as his had been issued at the age of 5, when the family immigrated to the U.S. I have no clue as to whether he did it or not. He may be in Houston, but also spoke of wanting to move to Austin. He may have also had to return to England, I don’t know. I’ve not seen him since 1984, but have wondered how life treated him.

    Part of me will always love him, but I don’t think I could marry him. I couldn’t take that type of emotional intensity anymore. I think I’d like to fall in love again, and know I could love someone else, but part of me will always belong to Gary.

  15. This one’s quite candid but then, I am. So are you though, so I reckon we’ll get by. I’m 39 years old and I live just outside London in the UK.

    There have been three loves of my life, I married the second one, I am still married to him and I guess the fact he knows about my third says everything you need to know about my marriage. I’m a lucky lucky bleeder. He’s loved three people too and yes, coldarnit wouldn’t you know, I’m his number two as well. We have a lot in common.

    The first lurve was a guy at school. He was 18 years old and engaged. I was 16 and didn’t realise what was happening until I was in love and thinking I’d like to marry him. He wanted to go steady, so did I but we disagreed on whether he should bin his fiance first, I said yes, he said no, so in the end, I said no to him too.

    It took four years to get over him and I only really did when Mr BC appeared. Mr BC was not a grand passion, he simply inveigled his way quietly into my life and my affections until one day, I found that couldn’t imagine my existance without him. We share the same sense of humour and off the wall approach. He’s smart, witty and my best friend. He makes jokes about the force and when I met him he was one of only a handful of people who understood my entire vocabulary. He would use words I’d never heard anyone else use and the only person I’d ever known to do that was me. We met at completely the wrong time but hung in there for 8 years doing the long distance romance thing before we finally got hitched on the only day it weed with rain in the hottest summer on record (’95).

    Number three turned up 5 years after we married when I started a new job, yes, he was my boss. I was completely comfortable with him, instantly. He was lively, witty and a very strong personality. It was definitely a grand passion – anyone who can speak with their eyes the way he did should come with a governnment health warning, smouldering..? more like one of those forest fires the size of Wales – but I knew I was deep, deep do-do when I started fantasising about snuggling up next to him to watch telly, growing old together as well as er… the other stuff.

    What with him being engaged and me being married we didn’t do anything about it, in fact, barring a few oblique comments the lurve thang was never mentioned it was just… there. I have never felt so sure of anyone without having to get to know them first. I knew exactly what made Man 3 tick – he thought the same way I did, his emotional reactions were similar and he was mischevious and naughty. He was adopted and we had a running joke that he was a baby someone in my family had out of wedlock and hushed up. He was 14 years older than me but it didn’t seem to matter. For all his outgoing nature, he was very shy When he took the mickey out of me, even though he knew I didn’t mind he would go red.

    I was obliquely proposed to and equally obliquely, I turned him down. Later, just to check, I tried a similarly oblique proposal on him, he turned me down. There is a great deal of mutual respect and fondness between Man 3 and me now and I suspect this stems from the fact there was no hanky panky and more to the point, in absolute concrete, unmistakeable terms, nothing was actually mentioned. It’s no big deal because nothing happened but at the same time, it is because undeniably, something did and I suppose the fondness stems from the fact that we chose not to hurt each other…

    It took 3-4 years to wear off and half way through that my job ended and I moved on. I still kept in touch with him even though I felt completely schitzoid the entire time. I wished I could talk to somebody about it but the person I really wanted to discuss it with was Mr BC. I wasn’t sure how he’d take it though so I said nothing but I reasoned that if it was him I wanted to confide in then he was clearly still my soul mate and I’d done the right thing. I also decided I would tell him at some point because I’m not great on secrets. Then, four years out from meeting Man 3 Mr BC said something I’d said to him, during the height of my wobble. Something I knew he only could say if he felt unloved by me and more to the point, loved by someone else.

    I began to wonder if his best friend at work, a lady, was more than a friend. When she went completely la la, I knew for sure that there’d been something and that they’d ended it – or possibly they had the conversation and never started it, I’ve not worked out which. It took me 8 months to drum up the courage – or at least 8 months to find the right time – but finally I broached it with him. He admitted it and sure enough, he had been struck by the same difficulty, all he wanted to do was talk about it to his best mate but that was me, which made it difficult. I think he was quite surprised when all I said was “you poor bugger” but then, he didn’t know about Man 3 at that point.

    So after some mutual confessing and a visit to a marriage counsellor, we sorted out the things which had made us look outside our marriage and now Mr BC and I are blissfully happy. After all, we have both chosen one another, twice. He is still kind, smart and witty and my best friend but he is also a little more laid back and a little more mischevious than he was, oh yes and a little more understanding of my completely crap housekeeping skills, we share the chores but his results are always better than mine – you know, making a house look clean, whether or not you’ve hoovered it, is a talent like anything else! 😉 We often say the same thing at once. We continue to make stupid jokes about the Force. We use strange words like tesselate and meniscus. He is still my soul mate and my best friend. If he went away, I know I would survive but I would be very sad and I can’t imageine I’d ever find another person as kooky and off the wall as I am – he’s just better at pretending to be sensible.

    I am posting this here because it’s amazing how things which, on paper, you’d think a marriage would never recover from can actually bring you together, make you closer and even strengthen your relationship. I suppose I am also posting it because I love Mr BC with all my heart and I’m glad I stuck around – I’m glad he did, too. A good marriage takes a lot hard work as well as love, it takes a while to find ways to speak the truth without hurt, it takes a while to find ways to demonstrate your love to the other person so they get a boost out of being with you. Yeh, I know this sounds cheesy but it’s true. And if you are friends as well as lovers it helps when things get rough. It’s worth putting in the effort.

    With Mr BC I am whole and real, I love and am loved but the biggest and important thing is that we are mates. That there is one place in the world, outside my biological family, where I fit in and am instinctively understood. Whatever the future brings, I am incredibly happy, here, now and that makes me one lucky scrote. Life has been kind to me so far. Everything else is just gravy. Thank you Mr BC and thank you Man 3 and Woman 3 for showing us what we had!

    Cheers

    BC

  16. thanks laurie.. found ur link and found it’s a chance to say the truth about how i feel, hope the love of my life will understand..
    i need to write this letter for him.

    “.. when we hv to b apart.. it’s just not in this life time. u hv ur own life. but i hope u will be happy always and always blessed!

    i will never have a chance to let u know how i feel.. or even declare that i love u.. i know u hv left me behind.. i was ur past. im no longer there in ur life. missed ur presence sometimes but this is for our own good.

    “Love is a funny thing.

    We never know its true depth until we’re no longer in it’s throws.

    Sometimes, love is enduring.

    Sometimes it’s fleeting, but it’s always impacting.

    Always.”

    Time is too slow for those who wait…too swift for those who fear… too long for those who grieve,too short for those who rejoice,….but for those who love, time is forever.

    Henry Van Dyke

    I agree..!
    fell in love for me..
    felt magic. yearning for u. felt i hv those thousands of energy to face the world.. n i hv this determination, i will not let u down – in a way that i will do my best to learn.

    i think i will love u forever in my mind, though i do not know u for real :p will need your little prayer to face my days.. n that will be enough for me.. “

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