Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"We fall in love with their souls"

My brilliant niece, Bailey, posted this quote on her Facebook page today -

While I couldn't find a source for it, I do love it. And I believe that this concept also applies to long-distance relationships.  It is remarkable, in a long distance relationship, how much time is spent communicating. Emails, texts, Skype chats, phone calls. The entire relationship consists of some form of "talking".  Because of this, the things that we share the most, in the very beginning, are our ideas, beliefs, thoughts, feelings. Before Brian and I ever actually were able to touch each other, we had shared so much of our hearts and souls, the touching was a lovely addition to an already wonderful experience.

Last fall, I had decided that for Brian's Christmas present, I was going to print out the first few weeks of our email communications. I've kept them all, and there are over a thousand email threads, which means there are over two thousand single emails. At this point, it may be closer to three thousand.  I thought it would be a nice reminder of our first tentative, searching communication, in the days when we were reaching out gingerly, excited but cautious, and every word from the other was a reassurance that something amazing and real was being placed before us.

I started copying and pasting and soon realized that making a compilation that would cover the span of a few weeks was a bit too ambitious.  By the time I had put together eight days of emails, I had over 40 pages of text.  I also included some excerpts from my personal journal that I had written in the days just before I met Brian, including one written on the day before we initially connected, in which I prayed that God would either change my heart so that I could accept the idea of being alone, or provide someone to spend my life with. Either way, I was submitted to God's will. I knew, though, that I would need His help and guidance, either way.

Forty pages.  This was before we had even heard each other's voices, before the first Skype chat.  I fell in love with the heart. mind and soul behind Brian's words.  He was strong and honest, he wrote about his feelings with passion and beauty, he made me laugh and was respectful, he knew himself in a way that I admired, accepting his weaknesses and was honest about his strengths, he was a devoted father and son, and he made me smile.

When I met him for the first time, in the parking lot of the Aubuchon hardware store in Malone, N.Y, and he wrapped his arms around me, I knew him.  He was familiar and comfortable, albeit in a weak-kneed, ooh-la-la kind of way.  The first smile, the first embrace, the first was like coming home to a place that I loved but had never physically been to before.

I fell in love with Brian's soul long before I touched his hand for the first time, and I am grateful for that.

The rest is just gravy. Really, really good gravy.  More like a reduction, with wine and lovely fresh herbs and a touch of thick cream...yeah, that's it.  Meowrrrrr.

Just a thought.

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