Someone once said: ‘my eye is much too close to me.’ Could that be why we find this so hard? Like so many others, I never expected to be here. A couple of years ago, suddenly and unexpectedly, I lost my wife of 16 years. She was only in her 30’s; it was never supposed to be that way. Now, while part of me wonders if all happiness is just the quick profit of an impending loss, another wants to know it again, to be lifted by it, to hold it once more – in simple hands, in abandoned arms, in a speechless heart – because life goes on, and the heart continues to beat, even if some days it seems to between hammers.
I know I can never replace the one I’ve lost; but maybe it’s possible to know a new relationship built on things learned slowly -- things about shared hopes and dreams, about respect and support, about compassion and communication and compromise, and most of all about commitment -- the greatest lessons and greatest gifts I’ve ever known.
What am I looking for? I want to laugh again, I want to cherish again; I want a home team to root for again. Because I believe what was said long ago is still true: no matter how much knowledge and understanding you may have, no matter how many things you may accumulate or give away, no matter how self-sacrificing you may be, without love, it’s all just noise.
But if relationships are built on communication, commitments, and compromise, are there any non-starters? Any deal breakers? I’ve learned a lot, but I’m sure not perfect, and mastery is always a work in progress.
You’re comfortable in jeans and a ball cap; still, you can dress up for a formal affair and be the life of the party… But if the last time you went through a receiving line you extended your index finger to the hostess and invited her to “pull,” … It might be a sign.
You’re a good conversationalist, and never met a stranger… But if the Jehovah’s Witnesses recently told you “We really have to be going…” It might be a sign.
You like to hunt and fish and can bait your own hook, thank you… But if you consider high explosives a tackle box essential… It might be a sign. Likewise, if you consider anything within 3 feet left of the yellow line “fair game” … It might be a sign.
You decided to get inked. OK. But if you’re sporting a cute little pineapple just above your bikini line… It might be a sign
You love travel, seeing new places and meeting new people… But if this is becoming a source of frustration to your handlers in the Witness Protection Program… It might be a sign.
You have a big, wonderful family, and you’re all very close… But if a lack of eligible cousins at last summer’s reunion is what brought you to Match… It might be a sign.
Sorry, I believe in signs. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.