True Love: The Woman I love
Be forewarned: I am no poet nor am I a romantic novelist. I have a tendency to get so involved with my emotions when writing some articles about personal subjects that I fear my words tumble all over themselves and it becomes gibberish. Please forgive me if that is the case, but this article needs to be written.
I was working retail in a small UHaul shop in November of 2007 when Bev walked in looking for some boxes. Boxes I had; nerve I was lacking. I was one year sober that day and, as we like to say down on the farm, feeling my oats, and I was immediately attracted to her. Did that equate to action? No, not for this inherently shy human being; I simply took care of her order, wished her a good day and then spent the next few days kicking myself in my derriere for not having the guts to say something other than the typical blah, blah, blah.
There was something about her, a quality that could not be quantified and probably at that time not verbalized, but I knew I wanted to see her again. My wish was granted a couple weeks later and history did indeed repeat itself as I once again found myself unable to utter a single intelligent sentence other than “thank you and have a nice day.”
Again she re-appeared several weeks later and again I found mastery of the English language beyond my grasp….and then she disappeared.
Christmas came and went and the New Year arrived and I had all but given up hope of seeing her again.
IF IT WAS MEANT TO BE
February was ushered in and one fine day she returned and my life entered a new chapter, one for which I will forever be grateful. I somehow found the nerve to ask her to lunch, but sensing that she was cautious and not looking for a relationship, I made it known that this lunch would just be as friends, that there were no strings attached. Where that bucket of hog poop came from I will never know but it worked; she agreed to lunch that next Friday.
We met for that meal and somehow we both saw in each other something worth pursuing for we began dating shortly afterwards. Bev was worn out from being a single parent who worked a grueling graveyard job and I was ultra-cautious about any relationship so early on in alcoholic recovery, so we were not starting out on the most secure footing, but start out we did. Ever so slowly, two wounded human beings slowly circling each other, looking for any reason to call it quits so that the pain of failure would not be experienced.
THE BUMPY ROAD AHEAD
We dated, slowly at first, then the pace increased as we found each other enjoyable to be with. Bev was, and is, a playful, seemingly carefree woman who has fun no matter what she is doing. She dances in the rain (and gets many opportunities to do so in Olympia) and loves little children and animals, and I was simply enthralled by her love of life. Life was more enjoyable when I was with her and I found myself considering the possibilities of a long-term relationship with her and quite frankly that terrified me.
I had lost at this game before, as had she, and despite the fun we had together there was an underlying fear that it would all end badly as so many other relationship had for both of us. In a real sense we were sabotaging the relationship from the very beginning, never really trusting in our feelings for each other.
So of course we broke up, nearly one year from the first time we had met. Another Christmas came and went without her in my life, another opportunity for happiness seemingly lost, yet all the while a feeling of relief that the pain of rejection would not be felt again. In truth I was more injured and damaged than I realized, an emotional cripple incapable of seeing the truth and hiding from reality once again, but this time without the solace that alcohol had always afforded me.
We started up again after the first of the year and broke up again. Started up once more and broke up once more. The ghosts of the past simply would not release either of us from their grip on our psyches. It was a sad, painful experience, going through the days knowing I had given up once again but not really knowing what to do to make it alright. Conveniently I had the excuse of sobriety to use and I could sound quite convincing when telling my friends that it just wasn’t a good time for me to be in a relationship, that I needed to strengthen my AA program before venturing off into deep emotional waters.
All the while I knew, however, that the greatest obstacle I had to overcome was the fear of failing at love once again, and I was so terrified that I was unwilling to give myself completely to this wonderful woman.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
There comes a time for all of us when we either face the fears that haunt us or we resign ourselves to forever being their slave. That time for me came a little over a year ago in November, 2010. I had just quit a teaching job that was draining the life from me and I had made the decision to become a freelance writer full-time. Bev as always was supportive of my decision and after seeing her one afternoon I spent the evening thinking about my inconsistencies. On the one hand I didn’t hesitate to quit a job that had benefits without having a back-up plan at all, something many people would never even consider doing. Surely that indicated some backbone, some willingness to take a chance in life. On the other hand I was too frightened to give my heart totally to a woman who had shown for three years a willingness to be patient and withstand every childish excuse I could find not to completely commit to her.
The decision was made that night and I have never looked back and doubted it for a second. Do I still have fears? Yes, I do, but they are nagging fears that I will find a way to mess this up as I have so many other relationships. I have no fear of Bev’s love for that is very real. If nothing else the fears I now have are a reminder to be the man she loves and never allow life or the fear of life to interfere with that love.
SO WHAT IS THIS WONDER WOMAN LIKE?
Bev is everything I once was before alcohol sidetracked me for three decades. I have never been around another person who loves life as much as Bev does. She absolutely insists on enjoying herself and squeezing every ounce of enjoyment out of a day. If you are with her for five minutes you will find yourself with a silly grin on your face because she is infectious. I’m not sure I’m describing her properly. I know that I feel better about life when I am with her. I know that I am hopeful when she is with me and I am once again a child when she plays with me.
We sing together and she says she loves my voice. We laugh together and her laughter is music to me. We love together and fear and insecurity leave us for together we seem to be one complete person.
For the first time in my life I completely trust another member of my species. She never tries to change me as so many others have but rather encourages me to be me. She is my biggest supporter, believing in my writing and other gifts and lifting me up with that support when I inevitably doubt myself.
She is, in a very real sense, what I consider to be my reward for finally getting my life straightened out and on the right track, as though this one gift had been withheld from me until I could finally pull my head out of the darkness and accept all that life made available to me. Yes, that’s it…she is my gift!
There are tears in my eyes as I finish this. Billybuc finally got it right!
Her name is Bev and she is the woman I love!
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