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Happy & Hero: Chapter 1
Like the most poignant of poems, where each stanza is it's own gem, and could quite frankly shine brightly all on its own, I think the same can be said for each event in our lives. Do you ever recall that embrace or phone call that changed your life? Together, each chapter, strung together in perfect order, make us, us - that is not to say these moments should not be savored while they're happening. Take a transitional phrase, for example, a single word can sometimes carry a sentence to its glory. The smallest, seemingly insignificant word is necessary to make even the most powerful of statements.
When I recall moments from our past, it is much like returning to my favorite chapters of a novel. Do you ever stop to admire a single sentence? The word placement, the way it flows? Have you ever been moved by a beautiful sentence? You suddenly begin to appreciate the writer's investment in details, structure, and word choice. In this same way, I appreciate each moment of life and those we spend it with.
Author's note: In an effort to write more in 2017, and through my mother's unyielding support and encouragement, I decided to start writing a narrative-style biographical series of personal essays about my life. The focus will be on my husband and me, and our 13-year journey from teenagers until now - mid/late 20 somethings. I will write about our biggest challenges and victories, and each and every milestone in between.
I have written many words dedicated to you. I have typed more characters than there are stars in our sky - simply about your laugh lines. Your wide-cheeked grin - it is behind each stroke of the pen. I have written tributes to your bouncing curls, freckles, and thick circle lenses. To love, to loyalty, to companionship - I have written.
In the beginning, we were children. Big-eyed and bright-spirited. The world was ours for the conquering, and in each passing moment, adventure is what we sought after. You were Hero, and I was Happy - as we always have been. Solely with our hearts, we loved each other in the most natural and innocent of ways. My heart had felt everything from needles to a deep ocean.
When I try to recall then, the days before now, my memory becomes foggy. Because of this, I regret not writing earlier. Life is funny, you know? It is peculiar how a thunderstorm today can quickly trigger a thunderstorm from 13 years ago - us, walking close, hips in sync, completely soaked from head to toe, moving along passing cars with blurred vision. It is fitting together perfectly, that moment you finally find the next puzzle piece, it's harmony, it's coexisting. It's the magic, I guess. If such a thing even exists. How could it not, if there is this?
Now, whenever I see a tree swaying in the wind, whenever a leaf dances far above our heads, it is much like watching our journey played back on a big screen. I see the red dirt picked up by the heels of your feet. I see your father glancing over at you, smiling. I see grass stains from sitting in a park after it's been raining. Waves crashing. I see "Finish him!" flashing on the television screen. Bare mattresses. I see steam spouting out of a coffee machine. Your clothes on the bedroom floor. I see bridges. Destinations. Seasons. Holidays. "I do."
We stopped time. Unfortunately, we still aged. In truth, I am not sad to be growing older, although even I know there is no resisting nature's determination - so, yes, I grow restless still. In most cases, I wish I loved a little bit harder. And, that really does mean many different things. It is true that loving anyone fully, means understanding the importance of loving and caring for yourself. Loving someone fully also means understanding that we're all humans with our own weird quirks and flaws. That is why I hope I brought you comfort. I hope I inspired you. I hope you felt advocated for. I hope you always knew you were loved.
Some would say growing old is nothing short of a sadist's, or a God's, or a Universe's favorite punishment. This is especially true when we're forced to do it alone. So, when I think of winning the lottery of life, a blessing that can compete with life itself, one that is worth more than billions, I believe it's love. Sure, you may think it's no big deal. Perhaps you're rolling your eyes. What can I say? I didn't expect anything less! In fact, I didn't even understand love's true purpose until I had nothing else but it. You may not either. Not until you're gray, penniless and depressed. "Love conquers all" is not merely a cliche. You will know when you feel it. Only love can save you. No force is stronger. Even the benevolent ruler loves his people.
Remember always, we have nothing if not each other. If you love hard, you're doing it right. And, trust me on this - if you love first, everything else will follow.
© 2017 Jocelyn Figueroa