Gratitude

I woke early this morning, as I often do, around 5 a.m. to check Ava’s blood sugar.  The veil of sleep was still clinging to me, my eyes blurry, and my body aching with the symptoms of aging that on some days seem inevitable.  Once I was reassured that she hadn’t gone low, I fell back into bed and curled up next to Todd.  He rolled over and we snuggled into each other in the predawn darkness.  I felt myself sigh with relief, both because I could sleep another hour, and because – well – Todd.

These moments are precious and sweet – more so because we didn’t have them for the last 25 years – we didn’t marry straight out of high school.  We didn’t have a long courtship.  We broke up, went our separate ways, reconnected periodically and then lost touch completely, married others and felt our souls die.  We lived separate lives most of our lives, but today we share the rest of our lives.

I am grateful for every one of these moments – and we don’t even have them every morning (which somehow makes them all the more delicious).  I thank God for every morning like this one, and every morning where we jump up and run to our separate occupations, for every little text message that contains little more than emoticons, every quick call that ends with I love you, every dinner we eat together at our table, and for every night we fall asleep where our souls collide. 

I woke early this morning, as I often do, around 5 a.m. to check Ava’s blood sugar.  It isn’t always fun, and I wish with all of my heart that diabetes one day has a cure.  But all of my heart can dream, and now it can dream beside the love of my life – who holds all of my heart – and with whom I am blessed not once, but twice.    

We curled up into each other, his hand on my back and my hand on his chest, and I breathed deeply the man whose scent was imprinted in my memory long ago.  I remember him.  He is mine.  And I am his.  We have laughter, we have peace, we have joy.  We are blessed.

I woke early this morning, as I often do.  But this morning I reflected on just how lucky we are. To borrow a tired cliché, life is short.  Too short to be unhappily linked to another, unappreciated, unfulfilled, blamed, and worse – abused. We are eternally grateful to the fates – or our angels – who brought us back together, for we both know what life is like on the other side of the fence.  Today, we live without blame, without criticism, without emptiness.  There are no doors closed between us. 

No one should endure life without freedom and joy, sleeping in separate beds, without humor and with constant criticism, dreaming about what it would be like to have that mind blowing love, or wishing someone would just accept them for who they are. At the very least, no one deserves to be with anyone who doesn’t acknowledge the value of personal accountability and responsibility toward the betterment of the relationship.

Don’t become stagnant.  Hold hands.  Kiss deeply.  Wrap your arms around them like your life depends on it.  Don’t forget to say I love you.  And mean it.  Don’t ever allow the space between you on the busiest days to grow into a cavernous and lonely divide.  Real love is precious, and there are precious few who truly have it.
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