Ordinarily, I leave the story notes for last. However, this story is a bit different in that it gives me the opportunity to do a favorite exercise again. I couldn’t remember which exercise I liked best, so I chose to redo one of the earlier ones, in this case, Exercise 11. I’ll provide links to the previous post and to the instructions. The quotation I picked for this post is as follows.
True love stories never have endings.Richard Bach
“…and they all lived happily ever after.”
When I was a child, that’s how many of my favorite stories ended. In these stories, a spell was often broken by the use of “true love’s first kiss” just as frequently obtained after falling in “love at first sight.” Like any child, I was enthralled by the whole idea of true love at first sight and happily ever after.
Lots of time has passed and I’ve since learned that true love at first sight is incredibly rare. Furthermore, true love isn’t something most people even believe in any more. In fact, in some cases, it’s even become something of a joke.
When I was a teenager, I sort of lost faith in the whole “true love” thing, partly due to returning memories of childhood trauma. Like many of the stories I liked as a child, it seemed like nothing more than a fairy tale. Just something someone dreamed up to put kids to sleep at bedtime. I still liked the stories, but, as far as I was concerned true love was about as real as the tooth fairy. The only exception, to my young mind, was my own parents, who seemed happy enough together and never argued where I could see or hear it. If there really was such a thing as true love, that was it. As I grew older, my experiences in the field of dating only served to confirm this belief.
Then, I met jaklumen. He was everything I was looking for in a partner, but, because I had lost any faith I had in the whole “love at first sight” thing, I didn’t fall in love right away. It took time. Rather than being like fireworks or a bomb, for me, true love was more like a seed growing into a beautiful flower. Gradually, I grew to think of jak as my best friend and, later, my soul mate.
On 12 December 1998, jak and I were married. Most stories would end there with “and they all lived happily ever after.” That’s not how it worked. The plant was beautiful but, as time has continued to pass I’ve seen that plant continue to grow and become more and more beautiful. It hasn’t been all diamonds and roses. There’ve been a fair number of rocks and thorns. It’s been uncomfortable, but worth it.
We’re still learning to live happily, but, together, we’ve seen great joy. Our story isn’t over, yet. In eighteen years of marriage, I’ve learned that true love is a constantly growing thing. It’s a story that you’re constantly writing. There’s no real happy ending, because there’s no ending to speak of. However, there has been happy growth. So, rather than end this story in the traditional manner, let me just say, they all learned and grew in love, joyfully ever after.