I’m here and I’m alive and man. I’m tired.
But it’s that nice kind of tired where if I want to, I just lay on the couch with the kids. Or we read books. Or, in the evening, I sit by the fire and read. It’s nice because even though my “To Do” list is as long as ever, the novelty of being done of school for the summer has not worn off. It’s nice because right now, it feels like there are months spread ahead of me and I can do what I want. It’s nice because this sense of peace that has settled in lets me appreciate pushing my kids on the swing more, or making them laugh by pretending our spaghetti is worms and we are red-bellied robins. It’s nice because man, it was such a long, cold, difficult winter and now it’s not anymore.
I read a book that told me love is a choice and everyday you have to make the choice to be there or not. And there were times this winter that Steve and I looked each other deep in the eyes with pain and anger and asked the other if they really wanted to stay. When you’re at that point, you’re correct in saying that it’s not your finest moment. When you’re there and being asked that question, even though in your heart of hearts you know you would never leave, it makes you wonder how you both ever got to where you are. When you’re there and wondering if it’s ever going to be the way it was, then yes, love is a choice.
It’s a choice you make because you said you would, because you promised in front of God and your family and all the people you love the most that you would stay. It’s a choice you make because your children deserve it and because you would do anything for them. It’s a choice you make because you didn’t choose your parents and you didn’t choose your children, but you did choose your spouse and eventually your children will grow and leave home and your parents will die and you will live with the choices you made, you will be alone with your partner because you chose to stay and love and work it out.
So love is a choice and sometimes it’s a painful one, but it’s only painful because you love the other person so damn much. It’s painful because you’re hurting and you see that they are hurting and that makes your pain so much worse.
Sometimes it’s a simple one, a choice you don’t even realize you are making, and you smile as he gently strokes your cheek or shudders in pleasure inside of you. It is simple, because it was never really a choice, but a force that pulled you together, intertwined through all the other people in the universe, through the 22 years you lived without him. It was never a choice because it was so very obviously meant to be.
And so, we live like this, through highs and lows, and we hold onto the things that keep us grounded. And failing that, we hold onto our faith that it will be ok. And failing that, we fall to our knees and pray and pray and pray. And eventually, somehow, it is.
It’s ok. And it isn’t like it was, because things cannot be undone, but in a way, it’s better. Because when you stay through tears and anger and hurt then you are able to see, once all of those elements have subsided, how strong your love really is, and the lengths that not only you would go, but your husband also. When you make it through the tempest, you are stronger, both alone and together.