The Love Of My Life


The Love Of My Life

The other day I met someone — a perfect stranger. When our eyes locked he paused and said, “you have sadness in your eyes.” In that moment I was the happiest I had been in ten years. For a minute all of the sadness I had experienced in my life had been washed away and forgotten, but he saw through the pain behind the invisible scars. Scars that people never want to hear about. Scars that have made me the woman I am today.

After a few minutes and a change of topic I couldn’t forget his words because he was right, but no one had ever taken the time to see me. To ask why? To want to know me. Do hurt people only see hurt people? I don’t know why I felt I had to justify my sadness to my new stranger when he wouldn’t accept my happiness. But I did. I caved in and told him the dreaded words, “I’ve been hurt before.” Because really who hasn’t? 

As I searched his eyes to see what he wanted to tell me but wasn’t saying a rush came over me. All at once I pictured myself taking this mans hand and walking — running as fast as possible to someplace only we know. Slow dancing. Sitting by a fire kissing. Reading to each other in bed at night. Eating breakfast cornered at the dining table a foot apart. Reading the newspaper. Listening to Ólafur Arnalds ballads. Enjoying long drives and flights. Seeing the world together. Walking through parks and cuddling on park benches. Laughing for hours. Caring deeply for one another. Losing ourselves in intimacy for one hundred years, or forever. I saw a glimpse of the love of my life. No longer did my sadness feel sad, it represented everything I was never supposed to have until now. It brought back hope that had died inside of me. 

He reminded me how many times I have found love in my life. How love is different for each of us. I met the love of my life when I was twenty. He was thirty years my senior and a father figure. When Flash and I met I was coping with never having met my father and he was grieving the loss of his late son. It was a platonic relationship. I introduced him to my family and we made him apart of ours until one day in early February he left us to go to heaven. I still look at him as the greatest father and friend I’ve ever known. 

Flash left me with my first fur-child. My sweet baby girl, Mac. The kindest Yorkshire terrier with the cheekiest disposition. She became the second love of my life. Mac stayed with me until I was 35. We were best friends. She and I lived a great life together. A lot like Gatsby and I do now. My two forevers. As you know Gatsby owns my heart. I tell him stories about Mac and Flash and how he came about after Mac passed. 

 

 
 
 
 
 
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But there was and have always been more great loves in my life. My nephew Tieler makes me see the world in a whole new way. An innocent, curious way. He asks intelligent questions and inspires me. He challenges me to be the best version of myself. We laugh so hard I cry. I never want to pass an opportunity to do anything with him no matter how tired I am because the time we spend is the most precious. He makes me love harder and more careful than anyone ever has. I want to be a mom one day because of him. He epitomizes unconditional love and shows me that daily. He melts my heart.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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Love is the gift that keeps giving. Like the man I call my mentor and best friend. My friend Darrell who I met at a church one random Tuesday afternoon. There were no services we were both there praying alone. Him for his late wife and me for my abusive ex. When we met I wasn’t sure what we had to offer one another, but that day in The Little Brown Church when he asked me, “are you okay?” and I started to cry and we hugged I knew we would be in each others lives for years. For our entire life. Years later he has met my family and I have met his. We’ve traveled together and been one another’s rock. We read meditations and pray together. We go to the Famers Market and sip coffee by the fire. Darrell showed me what a real friend is.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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My mother loves Darrell and he loves her, too. That’s the thing about family. Whether you are born into one, or make your own, you can bring people from all walks of life together and call them family. Which is why my mother is the greatest love of my life. She has a heart bigger than the state of Texas where she lives. She loves deeply and passionately. Her love is intense. I love the way she cares for people first, and the way she spends hours making sentimental gifts for them. How she’s never late and always remembers everyone’s birthday. The way she prioritizes family and provides stability. Her home cooked meals and how she’s over the top with holidays. She actually buys Christmas decorations the day after Christmas. A YEAR IN ADVANCE. I love how we talk daily. I love how she’s taught me to love.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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When I look at my eyes I see stories of the life I have lived. But it’s not sadness for pain in my life. There is sadness, but that sadness is knowing life is a revolving door filled with enormous amounts of love that sometimes we overlook. It’s love that lasts forever but sometimes forever is only in memories — like those of my grandmother. It’s knowing how many great loves I have had in this life and being grateful yet acknowledging I have so much more love to give to someone when the time is right. It’s joy in knowing I still get to meet the love of my life one day. 

 

monikafreeman

is the CEO of www.monikafreeman.com. She also works as a Creative Director, Writer, Brand Strategist and Fashion Editor.

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