“Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire.” -François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
There are many great love stories in the world; love moving mountains and conquering insurmountable odds. Then there are the people involved in these love stories. They fall madly, deeply, and head-over-heels only to meet an obstacle. Then they prove that love is all they need to make it through anything, and voila – a happy ending! But then there are the people who don’t deserve this great love. Me.
Many of you may not know that Kevin and I had a brief brush with love when I was about 14. I can’t remember the exact date, maybe because I’ve spent so long trying to forget it. It was while Kevin was still in high school, and I still knew nothing about matters of the heart. My badass-teenager-older-boy-next-door-neighbour asked me to be his girlfriend, and I said yes. We walked together to Freeman’s, the local cornerstore and popular summer gathering place (for some good ice cream or junk food). We held hands. It was terribly romantic, but childish and awkward. He walked me home that night, and gave me the most respectable peck on the lips known to mankind. It was a kiss even my parents would have approved of. Thinking back on it, of course it was a little peck – I was 14! But my fourteen-year-old self wondered if that’s what it would be like kissing my brother, if I’d had one. And so the next morning when I logged onto MSN and Kevin’s “Hey!” popped up, I did the unspeakable. I broke a thousand dating rules when I typed “I don’t think we should go out anymore.”
You would think that what he typed in response would be ingraved on my grey matter, but it’s not. I don’t remember his reaction. I remember telling my Dad about it and him yelling at me, and then later that day when he saw Kevin in the back yard, he told me to “Get your ass over there young lady an apologize for what you did!”. I went over, and Kevin walked away. I asked him to please come back, that I had to apologize. He stood there while I explained myself and said sorry, and then walked away. The next day on MSN he told me to “have a nice life” and then I was deleted, and blocked! I had ruined my relationship with one of my closest friends. I didn’t see him from then on, except in passing. Seeing each other mow our lawns or rake leaves. No eye contact. I wasn’t at his high school graduation, and I didn’t know he had applied to join the Canadian Forces. I didn’t know he left for basic training until his brother told me. I assumed I’d never see Kevin again.
Now I won’t bore you with the story again, as you’ve already heard it I’m sure. I’ll skip to the most unbelievable part.
On December 15th, 2007 I knocked on my neighbour’s door, like I had so many times before. The difference was in the man who greeted me in the porch, with a hug that told me we weren’t neighbours, or friends anymore. I sat nervously through supper and sat awkwardly beside Kevin through a movie. He was a gentleman the entire night. He spent the evening telling me about his training in Meaford, Ontario. All I remember was thinking Gosh I wish he’d just kiss me already but he only took my hand. I finally built up enough courage to just kiss him. And I did.
And he said “I love you”.
How could he love me? After what I’d done how could he love me? I loved him too, of course, but I didn’t deserve it. We began dating and I took him for granted. I took him for granted for the longest time, and still to this day I have my moments. I have found my great love story, I am living my great love story, but sometimes I forget. So, Kevin –
- If I yell at you, I’m sorry. You don’t deserve it, and there is no excuse. We can work out all of our problems, as we have done in the past and will do in the future. We haven’t made vows yet, but I don’t need them, I promise to love and cherish you. We shouldn’t fight and I know that ‘everyone argues’, but I will try to do better.
- If I take you for granted, I’m sorry. When we are together day-to-day, dealing with boring things like chores, laundry, and garbage day it is easy to forget how much you really do for me. You are my provider, my best friend. You are there for me through everything.
- When you’re gone, I miss you. I know that you know this already but I want to say it again. I love you each day more and more and when you’re gone I feel like there’s a piece of my heart missing. I’ve taken pathophysiology – I know how badly a heart functions when part of it is ‘missing’. I would never change our life, what we’ve been through or will experience, but I will never be used to you leaving.
- And finally, I will never leave you. I have once before, and I’m sorry. I often wonder what might have happened between us if we had dated for a while back then. Would we have lasted a week, a month, a year? Would we have broken up when you joined the military? Would be still be together today? I’ll never know. We don’t talk about our 24hr relationship, and I’ve always said “If you break up with someone, it was for a reason so there’s no point in getting back together!” but with us it’s different. If what I did then means that we can be together for the rest of our lives, then maybe it was meant to be.
We are two years away from our wedding, and those two years promise to hold as much love as heartache. You will be gone for your first tour of duty, and our longest separation since we’ve been together. I am going to graduate university, and I know without a doubt that your handsome, smiling face will be there – knowing how hard I’ve worked for it. I know that you have sacrificed so much for me, and have waited so long for me and I’ll spend my entire life showing you how much I appreciate it. We have so many ‘somedays’ to look forward to, and such big dreams for our life. I know you are skeptical of this whole blog thing, but I just wanted to say…