Love given, is not really gone.
I blinked back a salty tear that threatened to tumble down my cheek.
"I'm really scared,"
"What did you just say?" My friend Beth asked me.
As we drove out towards the ocean, I realized I had muttered my thoughts out loud. Fear was what I woke up to every day and went to sleep with at night, and now it was leaking out of me.
Here I was, new in Los Angeles, without a clue what I was doing and how I was going to afford to stay.
"How the hell did I get myself into this mess?" I asked myself.
Unemployed, not sure where I was going to sleep the next night, and deeply heartbroken. And only a few weeks prior it had all been different. I was living in a beautiful marina-side apartment, set up with an amazing job opportunity, and falling madly in love with a man I had just met in a whirlwind romance, who happened to be my boss.
Until it all changed.
Holding his hand in the hospital was the moment I knew that I would spend the rest of my life taking care of his sacred heart if he would let me. Even if the worst case scenario became reality and his brain had permanent scars from the severe concussion. That was the moment when infatuation crystalized into love.
It was also the moment when unknowingly, everything began to fall apart.
I spent every day that followed doing everything I could to honor the words "I love you." Words that I had spoken carefully. But as each day passed I watched the man who had called our love cosmic, slowly disappear. Here was someone new. Someone who's newfound sensitivity to light and sound, found my presence to be tiresome. A deep breath sounded like a hurricane, a bite of food chewed as quietly as possible hurt him. Someone who used to spend (almost too much) time taking an interest in strangers, now yelled at them on the street. Someone who used to call me beautiful, now would barely look me in the eye.
Everything good was swallowed up by pain.
But it really didn't matter.
Because to me, none of that was really him.
And I still believe that.
Because who he really is, is someone patient. He is long-suffering and kind. He is incredibly in tune, connected to the world, and carries sincere love for so many people. He views everyone he comes in contact with, no matter where they are from or what they do, as someone deeply important. He is the biggest dreamer and doer I have ever met. There is no limit to his potential and possibilities, and the universe itself conspires to help him with everything he desires to create.
I told everyone who knew about us that he was a walking miracle.
Because he is.
But one day in the darkness he woke up and told me that his love was gone, and he wasn't sure if it was real to begin with. All of the sweetness had gone up in smoke. The time we kissed under the full moon IN THE DESERT and said "I love you" for the first time. The time we atE gluten-free pancakes at a cafe in the middle of the night, just because. The time i came to him with All of my fears and my scars and he told me he wasn't going anywhere.
All of it, like a candle blown out by a gust of wind, was gone.
Leaving me to question what was real and what was not.
To wonder when would I find someone who would love me like a person, not a concept.
After he told me his love was gone, I clung to him still. His love was gone, but mine was not.
I drove him to the doctor, fed him, and prayed every night that he would heal.
And he did.
But we did not.
It would be easy to look back and say "What was the point of this? What was I supposed to learn?"
But there's this saying that goes: "time you enjoy wasting, is not wasted time."
I think about the moment he gently knocked on the bathroom door when he heard me crying, and slowly picked me up and held me until my shoulders were still. I think about the night we laid on the floor in an art gallery filled with candles and roses, listening to music. I think about the moment I held his hand as he wanted to scream out in pain from his aching brain, and I stayed up all night so I could wake him every few hours to make sure he was okay. When he grazed my stomach with medicine and massaged my body as I screamed in pain from another bought of endometriosis. Or the time we danced in his kitchen, drinking kombucha and cooking for his friends.
When I think about the love that was shown, the love that was grown, the love that was chosen,
I wouldn't take any of it back.
A Sacrifice you enjoyed sacrificing, is not really a sacrifice at all.
Those empty pangs are only growing pains.
Those scars on your heart are only like an etching on a graffitti wall that reads "deep love was here."
Love given, is not really gone.
It lives on, like the fire of the sun.