My Seasons of Love
“It takes a minute to have a crush on someone, an hour to like someone, and a day to love someone-but it takes a lifetime to forget someone.” ( Author unknown)
As we mature, our hearts develop too. Relationships evolve as we grow-up. Innocent and small in the beginning, they intensify as we age. Early on, we learn to share our hearts with one another and our capacity to love expands through the years.
One day in May, when I was in the third grade, my friend Ralph whispered in my ear to meet him at the far corner of the playground during morning recess. There he surprised me with a fancy pink box with a big red bow. I felt my heart flutter and I started to giggle when he pushed the large cardboard cube into my tiny hands with a big smile. After school, I hid my special gift under my bed. This secret exchange was just between the two of us, partially because at this age, I was not quite sure how to explain what had just happened. Each morning I went off to school smelling of the delicious floral “toilet water” and matching dusting powder. “Puppy Love” sure was fun!
Junior High brought many crushes. Carefully folded notes were passed behind the teacher’s back with plenty of XXX’s and OOO’s. Whispered phone calls at night fueled the steamy dramas. My heart grew a little bigger with each fling and it also learned how to mend itself after the inevitable break-ups. Even after multiple disappointments, I was still anxious to try again. I was becoming more resilient and enjoyed sharing my love.
The large class ring, with a wad of frayed yellow yarn wrapped around its inside, fit snugly on my ring finger. It was the typical 1960’s overt sign that I was “going steady”. I couldn’t wait to see my boyfriend each morning at school and we met at my locker in between classes to hold hands and to steal a quick kiss. I remember returning an “I love you” when he whispered the same words in my ear at a school dance. I felt our hearts get closer. We were a couple now, and with that came the new concepts of commitment and expectations. I was learning how to connect my life to another’s.
In college, my sorority sisters and I sat together in a circle in the dark hallway at midnight for our candle light ceremonies. As the flickering white taper was passed among us, the anticipation grew. Who would be the lucky young lady to blow it out and reveal her boyfriend’s fraternity pin? An engagement ring usually followed in a few months. Love was all around me here, and the intensity grew as the relationships became more serious. My heart thrived in this environment and it kept wanting more.
Finding excuses to walk past his office, I casually glanced in at the handsome man that I knew I was going to marry. I was positive that he was going to be the one after our very first meeting. Soul mates, I guess you could say. It was an uncanny feeling that I could not ignore. On September 3, 1977 we exchanged our wedding vows.
A legal commitment framed our bond and now I learned how to love as a wife and soon, as a mother to a daughter and a son. I couldn’t believe how my heart kept opening up to let another special person in. It felt wonderful!
Unfortunately, on February 24,1993. I had to honor the last line of our matrimonial promise, ” …till death do us part.” But right before our final good-bye, there was one more gift of love. As his weary body was slipping away, David’s generous spirit gave my sorrowful heart an opportunity for new hope as he mouthed these words in his last hours- “get married again.” He knew that at age forty, I had many more seasons of love. His permission for me to go out and to seek them was remarkable. What an unselfish, beautiful gift.
It took me eleven years to accept that precious gift. Thanks to an introduction by my children and now son-in-law, a very special man proposed to me after a short courtship. He understood that my heart was ready to expand once again, and that I had enough room for his love, while still keeping a memory of a past love. He opened up his heart to my children, and soon we welcomed grandchildren into our hearts, together as a new couple.
“When someone you love becomes a memory, the memory becomes a treasure.” ( Author unknown)
I have realized that the heart has no boundaries, other than the ones that we put on it ourselves. Its capacity is amazing. Perhaps dormant for awhile, the embers can be fanned once again into a roaring fire and its warmth spreads quickly.
As we approach this Valentine’s Day, I hope that your heart has innumerable years of loving experiences and treasures. If you are in a relationship now, find a way to make each day special. If you are reflecting on a past love treasure, I hope that the memories bring you comfort and warm smiles. And if you are seeking love, don’t give up! The magnetic energy of your heart will find the right love.
Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone in your own season of love!