I’m open to opening my heart to Love again because I know what true Love looks and feels like, and the beauty of being in it.
Indeed, I know well how to love and be loved, by and with a man who honors, respects, and loves me more than his own life.
I know what it is to feel confident in being loved by a man who brings a flush to my cheeks and a smile to my lips.
I know what it is to bring a smile to the lips of a man who feels truly and deeply loved. To catch the glint in his eyes across a room, as he looks into my eyes and winks at me, bringing a surge of awareness of each other and the secrets we held with each other in the passions of night hours.
He would say to me, sometimes casually, but always directly….I love you. He spoke these words into my heart daily and with all he was.
I’d pause my reading, or my gardening, or my writing, and catch his green gaze with my blue, and smile as I returned the sentiment….I feel loved by you. I feel cherished.
My response, rather than a quick I love you, too affected him in a way that was almost visible as, unconsciously, he’d draw himself up, shoulders almost broadening, standing taller, confidence strong.
Chuck was a warrior. A protector. It’s who he was; he wore the responsibility well, and welcomed it. And because he was who he was, he welcomed a woman strong enough to partner him. No weak willed or simpering, high maintenance woman for him…never. He wanted a woman to be his match, his true partner. A woman capable of caring for herself and, knowing this, equally capable of allowing him to care for her.
Chuck and I played, and we flirted with each other, pushing our boundaries with each other, challenging each other to stretch our minds and our established beliefs. Passion ran deeply between us. Our Love brought out all that was soft and romantic in me; he received that part of me and honored and encouraged it.
Early on in our relationship, I remember telling him that the only kind of relationship games that interested me were the kind involving sex, and if he had something to say to me then he needed to say it upfront, and I’d do the same, in kind. He appreciated that I wasn’t a woman given either to creating drama or carrying on in some absurd manner.
He also recognized that I was (and am, I’ll admit) a passionate woman given to going on what I termed rants and raves, about something I felt strongly. Mostly he’d just hear me out, maybe a bit quizzically, until I calmed down. I used to joke with him that I carried around my own soap box so that I could set it out and carry on, before stepping down and going about my day.
Chuck loved my spontaneity. He wasn’t so by nature, and yes, it did rattle him at times, being as he was very much a planner, but he was fairly skilled at switching gears. Mostly, I think it entertained him. It took me down to my knees with remembering when our kids told me after his death that he’d told them how much he loved that about me….that I’d brought that as a gift into his life.
Our bedroom was our sanctuary. It was where we were Chuck and Alison, a man and a woman deeply in love with one another, for all of our years together. Outside that bedroom we were many other things…mom and dad to 4 kids most importantly. We acknowledged, though, from the moment we married, that it was the strength of our relationship with each other that would keep our family intact, even more so because we were a blended family. So we danced in front of our kids; in the kitchen, in the backyard filled with gardens, we kissed under the mistletoe and anywhere else we were so inclined, we held hands…we were in love with each other and our kids knew it.
The last kiss we shared was one in which Chuck didn’t…couldn’t…participate. His spirit had already gone, leaving his physical body worn and beaten by cancer. His body, that I’d loved through 24 years, lay quietly in a cardboard box, covered in colorful blankets wrapped around him because I didn’t want him shriven in a body bag. I remember covering him with bouquets of flowers and drawing the blanket over his sharply edged brow, after pressing a kiss to his forehead.
I remember gently placing the cover over that box, and walking with the attendant those few steps to the crematory…
…and pressing the switch to open the doors and hearing the great rush of heat, and watching as his body, in that plain cardboard box, slid into the waiting flames.
I remember the door slowly closing, and myself closing my eyes as I commanded my body to remain upright, trying not to faint. Tried not to scream my agony to the heavens. Tried to contain 24 years of Love as I wished this man all the Love held in my body and blood and bone, drawing it into my body so that I could convey it to him somehow, and speed him on his way, releasing him to a well-deserved rest.
I remember being loved. Feeling loved. Loving in return. Giving all I was to a man who gave all he was to me, in return. Body and bone and blood and heart and soul. All I was. All he was.
I remember Love~