For Virginia on the Eve of Marriage

My mom told me I’d never understand the love a parent has for a child until I had become a parent.  She was right.  She also told me that I’d never understand how crazy it was for an older child to think a new baby would steal away a mother’s love.  She was right then, too.  Because love isn’t finite.  There’s no limit to how much love a person can experience.  Either in receipt or in offering.  There are barriers and pitfalls and all kinds of roaring tigers that play into love to be sure.  It isn’t always easy to love.

At times in my life I’ve felt like a fraud when it comes to love.  Not that the people who loved me did it falsely.  On the contrary.  They loved truly.  But the person I gave them to love didn’t always feel like me.  I’ve been a shape-shifter.  I shifted into the person I thought would be most worthy, most desirable to love.  And I continued to shift, from person to person, from time to time, from place to place.  As the shifting played out, I realize now that there were moments of alignment.  Moments when the person I thought I should be lined up perfectly with the person I really was. That’s the way it was with Greg.  He didn’t need anyone in particular to love.  He didn’t expect or want me to be anyone.  And so who he got was me.  More me than I even realized at the time.

He’s not the only one.  I remember the first time I vaguely realized that an alignment was happening.  That it was me a person wanted to love.  Her name was Virginia and she became my best friend in high school.  We had crazy fun.  And such honest “us” moments.  Moments when I was me and she was her.  And we could be real.  She was my first deep-heart friend.  It was a moment frozen in time and it was precious.  And then time moved on.  I moved West, she moved even further West.   And the “us” of deep friendship took a turn so that now we live very different lives.  But the love that was born in those high school days stays with me.  I cherish her.  I cherish the way she was her and I was me.  She has an archive in my heart that neither time nor distance nor full personality change will remove.  Her love is on record and I will protect that record fiercely.

Virginia wasn’t my only deep-heart friend.  She may have been the first but since then I’ve shared that kind of friendship with a few other kindred souls.   They didn’t remove, obscure, vandalize, erase, or alter Virginia’s love.  There was no replacement or competition of love.  Her love remains unique and I still hold her place in my heart so dearly.  Each love has its own story, and yet each love is threaded through all loves including that one. And in this world, where we hurt and break each other, we can’t afford to dismember any love, past or present.

Thank you Virginia for introducing me to deep-heart, real-ass friendship!  I wish you a lifetime of alignment as you take this next step with Andrew.