For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. – Judy Garland
Given the right amount of time and in the just right circumstance, love reaches a boiling point; a moment when the depth and power of love is acutely felt. Before this moment, love is still getting its legs without knowing where it’s going. But after this moment, love is launched on a course that is indescribable.
It is at this moment when the connection reaches the level when one partner knows what the other is thinking without a word being spoken. This is the moment when two heartbeats become a little more synchronized. This is the moment when both partners dare to look into the soul of the other.
And after seeing what’s inside, neither one blinks.
My indescribable moment
I have written about my love for Mary Beth often, but I have never shared the moment when I realized our love began.
After 26 years of making certain we could pay the mortgage, adjusting schedules for parent-teacher conferences and deciding which one would get the milk on the way home, my wife is still the one who owns my heart because of one single, powerful moment.
After several dates, we knew the feelings ran deep. What Mary Beth lacked, I had enough to offer. And what was missing in my life, she had plenty to give. Our unselfish exchange led to an exquisite middle where our love built its foundation.
One evening she called unexpectedly. Mary Beth wanted to come over and see me. I was surprised because our dates were typically planned. She asked for directions, but instead of replying, I asked where she was. She was using a payphone outside our favorite restaurant.
With more persistence, she asked again.
I answered by offering the name of the main street and then the side street – but with no further detail.
Sensing the awkwardness, she ended the call.
Fear settled over me. I was afraid of two things: (1) I made her angry and (2) she would try to find where I lived.
I raced to my car and drove to where I thought Mary Beth had called. Maybe she was still there, I thought. Maybe she was having dinner or waiting to see if I would come.
When I arrived, she was not there. There were no cell phones in 1984, so my best option was to drive back and call her. I called. She was not home.
Panic had now replaced the fear.
I walked outside to see if Mary Beth was trying to find me.
She found me.
Shame quickly replaced fear. When she saw me and the apartment building where I lived with my parents, I knew right away she got it. She understood why I didn’t want her to come.
Mary Beth had a beautiful house full of beautiful things. She came from affluence and I came from a two-bedroom apartment. I thought if she discovered my secret it would end the relationship.
She opened her car door and rushed toward me with the kindest, most compassionate smile I had ever seen. Without a hint of disappointment, she told me it didn’t matter where I lived. She told me what mattered was she loved me. Mary Beth told me she hoped we could share a life together, and if that happened, our home would always be a beautiful place to live.
In that moment, love arrived and my heart belonged to her forever.
The moment when love arrives is as close as we will ever get to experiencing pure love. Holding onto this memory is a good reminder on the days when we forget about love’s beautiful grace.
Mary Beth asked me to pick up the milk recently.
I was still grumbling about being asked to do the errand as I made my way through the grocery store and to the refrigerated display cases. Standing there searching for the 2% milk, I saw my reflection in the glass doors. My grim, unhappy face startled me.
The smile I promised Mary Beth just before Christmas was gone.
In that moment, it was clear I had a choice to make. I could either be resentful about the errand or I could recall the moment when love reached the boiling point which created the need to share errands, attend parent-teacher conferences and make mortgage payments in the first place.
Pulling a plastic milk jug from the case, I l checked the expiration date with indescribable delight. I felt my smile come back as I started for the checkout lane.
I reached my car and placed the grocery bag on the backseat. With sweet anticipation, I started driving. As I got closer to our house, my smile grew brighter because waiting inside was my love, my Mary Beth, who has spent the last 26 years looking into my soul without blinking– not even once.
I was home.
A special thanks to Joy Holland of Unfolding Your Path to Joy for inviting me to participate in her Blogging Week of Love campaign. Her invitation helped me express a very precious and beautiful moment for me. Thank you for this gift Joy.