One Great True Love

There is nothing, absolutely nothing that comes close to one great true love; not the greatest job in the world, not all the money one can amass, not even all the knowledge in the universe…

Finally, the right time arrives for the one great true love, the one for whom we all long and wait all our lives. Sometimes we have the patience to sit back until destiny hands it to us or leads us back to it.

Long after I completed the first draft [of the book I was working on] I realized that I did not include one special person in “The Male Species” section. I was surprised as he was the man I loved the most and for the longest time. He was the one I decided to love and it was when I didn’t even know the concept of love being a decision, which I was told about when I was being counseled by our Catholic priest at the time of my divorce. Still, the realization did not dawn on me until before my trip back home a few years later. If I had recognized much earlier during my stay in South Africa the implications of my actions years ago I would have found the way to reverse the decision. As this was not the case, I am led to believe that there must be some truth to fate and destiny.

I only realized later on that I had that little oversight; I forgot to ‘un-decide’ to love him. I forgot to decide to stop loving him. I had also chosen to find out what future awaited us, together or separately. I chose to see what was the next chapter in our story. I guess that’s why the one great true love could not possibly make it to my “[The] Male Species”. All the men encountered and described in the section had their shortcomings, a flaw (or some), or a fleeting quality and what I called relationship [with them] did not have the all-important blessing to make it work and go the distance. More importantly, I did not feel that earnest desire in my heart to accept any of them without condition. I had no intention to grow from the in-love stage to the deeper real love phase.

He had successfully, though unbeknownst to him, and even to me, remained in my heart for more than ten years, possibly more. Obviously, there were those periods in our lives when he seemed to be insignificant, almost non-existent. I speak for me alone as I have no knowledge of his perspective.

Therefore, although I acknowledge that he was the male in my life that proved to be everlasting, I still could not help but wonder how it all became possible. What was it that made me keep him in my heart?

It was the very question he had asked me. It was puzzling to me as well. I haven’t had, and I still don’t have, any concrete example of a specific event that happened while we were together that could shed light to the mystery.

There were little things.

Stupid things he said like he would not mind telling his children that the only girlfriend he had was their mother. It could have been a line but no one has ever said that to me and I didn’t have anyone say to me that someone else had said the same to a girlfriend. It was the sweetest thing said to me, in my whole life… ever!

He remembered even 10 years later our first date. I had gone back home on the 10th year anniversary of our first date and I didn’t know or realize this. He did, and he reminded me. It was that same time he had said that it had taken him ages to get over me and my presence, with the long-overdue conversation about what happened to us, and our rather weird relationship had put him back where he was.

There were other conversations, even long-distance, over the phone, and once we joked that maybe one day, when we are 70 or 75, with our walking canes, we might finally get it right and be together again.

Strangely, I still clearly remember our first date – where we went, what movie we watched, how many times he went to the toilet (that became a private joke), where we went next, etc. I can also recall our last mass together in Don Bosco church… even what I prayed for, how hard I prayed.

Was it fate? Destiny?

Were we kindred spirits who were destined to be partners in our quest to be who we’re meant to be as individuals?

I chose to refer to my belief that life and everything else in life is a decision and that somehow in the height of our romantic relationship I decided to hold him in my heart forever.

…perhaps because he would show me the most important thing about me.

Of course, letting him go was also an option, not only because I knew more about myself but because people let go when the time comes to let go.

I discovered why the need to re-visit the past; the reason for what happened or what did not in the years that passed. If indeed the purpose of the love we shared was merely to teach me unconditional love, I still would not regret a single decision made because his part in my life had always been a beautiful picture of cherished memories kept dearly in my heart.

Most importantly, he helped me realize that I am good enough.

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