Often times when I speak of our courtship I often say this quote. Carrying on a long distance romance for 10 months is an unusual thing for most couples. When Paul contacted me through Classmates.com after so many years my heart was just a flutter. We spent 2 days on the phone and I knew….I really KNEW that this was something incredible. I flew down to see him after 30 days and while packing to return home I said “you are going to marry me you know”. That’s how positive I was that this was the perfect time for us.
After that we traveled back and forth every 2 or 3 weeks. We would cram so much love and fun and adventure into a weekend. Seeing him walk town the tarmac, so tall and strong and handsome, it was like something out of a movie. People would stare and smile as we embraced like a year had passed rather than just a few weeks. Of course, those few weeks apart felt like a year. We talked of our past and planned our future together. We went to all our favorite hang outs as kids and shared our hearts like no others before.
Sundays were the worst. So many tears were shed at the airport….embraces that were never long enough….crying as I went through security….the looks of sympathy from TSA agents. I would cry most of the way home or drive home to lay in bed and breath in his scent on my pillow…crying at the thought of a day without his hugs and kisses…..
it was the best of times….it was the worst of times…….
Now, almost 8 years later, we can look back on those days so fondly, knowing what a blessing they were to us. It was such a special and unique time. Something not many people get to experience.
This experience with Paul’s illness has almost paralleled our courtship experience…..and it feels so strange to say that. Coming home today I was thinking of how many blessing we have received as a result of this experience. We have been surrounded by family and friends in a safe cocoon of love and support. From hugs and prayers to words of encouragement on Facebook, meals and financial support….it’s been incredible. We have seen and felt God’s love in a way few people experience. How many people go through their entire lives and never feel this? How incredible is that? and it’s all because of this journey ….as horrifying as it is….it’s still filled with blessings.
I spend my days thinking of my love constantly. I miss him every moment and can’t wait to come home so we can hold each other again. As our close friends and family know, we have always been “lovey dovey”. We have grossed out the children more than once with too much PDA for their liking and now it’s ramped up even more. We are connected on a level like no other…..we look in each others eyes and see directly into each others souls…..
Once again…it’s the best of times…it’s the worst of times…..
Truthfully, that’s been the theme of our entire marriage! lol! We have had some wonderful highs….successful business working together….raising 2 wonderful children….building our dream home from scratch….. living our lives surrounded by family, wonderful friends and the most adorable dogs a person could ask for……a closeness to our God gained through faith, trust and service. We have also experienced some terrible lows as well….the crash of the real estate market meant the end of a business we treasured, struggles raising teenagers, financial disaster, the pending loss of our home and of course cancer…..
But you know, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Often you hear the saying, “It’s better to have love and lost than to never have loved at all”. Even though we still have lots of fighting left to do I won’t lie and say I haven’t thought of life without the love of my life….and I can honestly say it IS better to have loved….I wouldn’t opt out of this for anything. The thought of spending my life without ever having experienced a love like this would be much more tragic than losing him to this disease.
It is the best of times…..it’s the worst of times…