Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day!

(This is a post I wrote last year for a very special man. I wanted to revisit it, because it still says all the things I need to say, better than any new post I might be able to write.

That special man has since become my husband. Fairy tales do come true!)

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a short time ago, there was a woman. This woman had been hurt in ways that no one could see. She had been abandoned, neglected and ignored. Sometimes she felt like another piece of furniture in the house, there to be used when needed, unnoticed until she acted up, gathering dust in a forgotten corner. She had resigned herself to living that way forever.

Once upon a short time ago, there was a man. This man had been hurt in ways that no one could see. His pain was kept inside, so deep down that it seemed like a thick coat of armor around his heart, one that no one would ever break through, even with the strongest of Cupid's arrows. He had his whole life planned out, and that life did not include falling in love.

One day, that woman and that man found each other. They crossed paths in the simplest of ways. It could have become a footnote, a chance meeting, a passing of ships that kindly acknowledged, waved to one another and kept on sailing.

But that meeting ignited a spark.

There was something about him. She was intrigued by his attitude. She wondered where all that armor came from, and what he might be like without it. He was, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the most amazing man she had ever met. She found herself thinking of him at odd moments. Then those odd moments became regular moments. Soon she found herself happy again. Every day was fresh and new...because he would be in it.

There was something about her. He couldn't figure her out. She was like a chameleon, always changing, challenging him to foster that tiny spark within her. He didn't quite know how to handle a woman like that. Soon there was a tiny crack in that armor, then another, then another. He found himself letting her see the man inside, and it scared the hell out of him...but it felt good, too.

And one day led to another, and one moment led to another, until -- somehow, against all odds -- that man and that woman fell in love.

What could have been a footnote became a story.

What began as a spark turned into a raging fire.

What started out as a crossing of paths turned into the most amazing of fairy tales.

Fairy tales aren't about knights on white horses and women in tall castles. They aren't about long-stemmed roses and soaring promises and pomp and circumstance. They aren't about shouting love from a mountaintop, or about mystical moments that seem to happen to only the luckiest few.

Fairy tales are much more real than that.

Fairy tales grow between the sweetest morning kiss and the late-night arguments that go 'round and 'round until you figure it all out. They are about holding hands in the car, dressing up for a birthday dinner, offering tissues for the occasional tears, and saying everything without saying a word.

They are a blur of meaning: the flowers he brought to say he was sorry, the movie stubs kept just because, opening the door to the scent of her cooking, the sound of his footsteps coming up the stairs, sleeping in while tangled up in the sheets, wrestling with worries and decisions and plans and hopes, and even the occasional angry words followed by making up and making love in the bed so familiar that you know every little creak of the headboard.

Fairy tales are about those moments when pain and fear and loss are covered over with the hearty soil of attention and patience and understanding, so that new and beautiful things can grow. Fairy tales are about the everyday dreams and hopes and loves, the hard work and honesty that goes into shaping a real life.

And in the very best of fairy tales, they live happily ever after.

So here's to us, honey. Have I told you lately how much I love you?

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