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Monday, 14 February 2011

A Love Letter Unread.


"Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs.
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes.
Being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall and a preserving sweet."
~ William Shakespeare ~
Valentine's Day is great when you are in a stable, loving relationship. Well, even just some kind of relationship where the partner is clued in enough to be aware they are supposed to DO something on that date. Or if you happen to be pretty, popular or at least cool or worthy enough to receive cards, gifts, chocolates... flowers. Receive them on the day just for breathing and being alive. Because, heh, you're cool... and popular people get things. Hollywood will verify this.
"Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies." ~ Aristotle ~

Well, I hate Valentine's Day. Because I have never BEEN cool, popular or attractive, especially while in Grade School. I was shy, meek and very mousey, terrified of others my own age, bullied constantly, my only real friends being books and the teachers who allowed me to stay in during recess, with the pretence of allowing me to help file or do bulletin boards. Children can be so very cruel and being newly arrived from the Deep South, my Californian peers rolled with laughter whenever I opened my mouth to speak. So, I tended not to try speaking out loud but communicated through comic strips and art projects instead of oral reports. My teachers at the time understood and allowed this. For that I'll be forever grateful.
Valentine's Day cards HAD to be given to each child, it was a rule. So at the end of the day your little 'Mail Box' that sat on your desk contained one small valentine in a small white envelope from each child in the class. You could be assured of this. It was 'safe'. Because I'd been forced to give the horrid Deborah a Valentine I knew she had to give me one as well. Deborah was the nasty girl who always tripped me in the girl's room then gave my forearm an Indian burn as I was sprawled across the tiles. I never was able to suss out why she hated me so very much. But she always got the ugly elephant Valentine from me. Always.

High school Valentines were given between my girlfriends and myself, I can't ever remember receiving an actual Valentine from an actual boy. A boy who was two years older than I, sent me a soppy love letter once. I remember it made me feel rather embarrassed since it spoke of things and feelings and wants and needs that I hadn't yet a clue about. I did not share his feelings. He lost interest the next week.


I went on a first date on Valentine's Day, quite by accident, with the man who became my first husband. I had finished work and went to a local restaurant to meet my housemate for a drink. She showed up and then he did as well a bit later. How awkward. He just sat there blathering away and wouldn't leave. I went to the loo and came back to find she had bailed on me and gone home, so, there I was stuck with him. I was too polite, I should have just bailed myself. I remember him proposing the following year on the same day with the aside that this was probably the best offer I'd ever get, so, marrying him was really rather an honour for me.

I can laugh now, but at the time, my self-esteem was nil... and I accepted. We were married Valentine's Day 1987. And he left in 1993, taking our son with him. Well, physically he left in 1993, mentally he'd left me years before.

Husband Mach 2? Let's just say he even forgot my 40th birthday... and I was NINE months pregnant with our first child at the time... so, no, Valentine's Day was never what you'd call significant. Unless I reminded him. And what fun is that?

Now this isn't supposed to be a pity party, ok? It might seem like it's headed that way but it's not. I'm just underlining how rotten the date 14th February actually IS for me.

It rather sucks, up to now.
"It's not what you have in your life, but who you have in your life that counts."
The wonderful thing about being an adult human, is that you can decide that you'll do something different. I'm not bound to hibernation or migration and if I decide that I am going to change, well I can! I don't NEED to wait for evolution to wind it's way around. I can just think, "Right, this is how I will now do this." Then do it. Simple.

"The important thing, is to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are...  for what we could become." ~ French critic Charles Du Bos ~

So, I decided that's how I'll look at Valentine's day from now on.

Differently.

Today is a non-sectarian day to tell people whom you care about that you are happy they are in your life. I mean, you can do that at Christmas, but there's the whole religion thing that wraps around it which people can get stuffy or silly about. So today can be a day that is for everyone regardless of religious flavour. Or even non-flavour.
"Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination, full of hope." ~ Maya Angelou ~
I want to tell those who mean so much to me that I appreciate them. I want to say that you have made a difference in my life. That I am where I am today because of your love and support. And I know that I would not be in this safe and happy place had you not been there to help me through so much. Thank you, you mean the world to me.
"Love is strong yet delicate. It can be broken. To truly love is to understand this. To be in love is to respect this." ~ Stephen Packer ~

To the person I adore and cherish, who took me from a most horrid fate ahead of me and restored me to the whole person I had lost along the way, thank you. I will always and forever love you. I will always and forever be grateful for your love, care and attention. For everything you did for me and for us. I can never repay your kindness, but I hope, one future date, you will allow me to try. I hope you know that you will always and forever own my heart. The small sure flame will eternally and unremittingly burn; secret, guarded, certain. Please know that and remember. You will always and forever be The One.
Hug them, kiss them and tell them that you love them. Don't miss the chances that life is giving you to spend with people you love. There are no rewinds.
I know time and space and circumstances now separate us. I know that you have someone else now and that this outpouring of love I have for you will never be read, still, I needed to put it out there, to write it down and make it real, at least for me. If I could whisper in your ear, I would ask you to come back to me. I would ask you to give us another chance, but I know it's too late. That regret will ever lay heavy upon my heart.
A quiet thought, a silent tear, a constant wish that you were here. Words are few but thoughts are deep, memories of you, I'll always keep.

"A successful relationship requires falling in love many times, always with the same person. Always with the same person, but deeper and deeper every time. Each time on a whole new level you together open in love and discover the truth of your beloved anew. There is no limit to the beauty of your beloved. If you think you've reached the end, stop generalising."
Some morning, when I've met you in that sacred in-between place where we still laugh and smile at each other, that dreamworld of mine you inhabit, where there is sunshine glinting off the water, where there is peace and quiet, birdsong from the shore and long loving glances between us. I will look into those beautiful blue eyes again, face-to-face, the eyes I could swim in forever, happy, safe and secure. And you will smile, and my heart again will thrill. And that some morning, please, before you lean over to kiss her awake, the one you love now, think of me just the once. Think of me in the long pink dress, forever now hidden away from view and remember me with my hair falling down around. Remember the love we shared, the life we planned, our future together. Make peace with that and with me, please. Then, think of me just the once... and smile.

Because I will forever be thinking of you.

9 comments:

auntiegwen said...

What beautiful words. I truly wish that you will find someone who will love you with the same depth of feeling. xxx

English Rider said...

Love yourself and teach your daughters the same. This post is beautiful and poetic and makes me mad at you, all at the same time.

Kitty said...

AuntieGwen: If the words come across as beautiful, it is because they come straight from my heart and how I feel is being heard. Thank you, that is reassuring.
As for finding someone, well... I'm rather like a swan; I mated for life. Anyone else could only fall short, so, it's best not to even really bother. I know that sounds kind of pathetic, but it's how I feel. I'm so badly hurt and damaged that I think I need to just focus on loving myself, as ER suggests. I think that is a tall enough order. :)

English Rider: I have been very careful with how I portrayed what occurred to my daughters. I have stressed that I made choices (as did he) which impacted us. No blame has been laid. How I feel is my own fault, I take complete responsibility for this, for myself. But just as I cannot stop loving my children when they do stupid things, just as I would never turn away from them, the same applies to the man I love. I committed myself to him. For me, that is lifelong. And ultimately, that is my choice. We have discussed the pain I'm going through, they need to see that heartache and heartbreak DOES occur. The Disney 'Happily-Ever-After' just doesn't always happen, if ever. Relationships falter and fail. Adults make incompetent choices. But, we have to OWN those choices, forgive and move forward. I think by being open about where I've gone so completely wrong in my life, they've come to understand this and respect it. And hopefully they'll see to do different in their own lives when that time comes.

English Rider said...

Kitty, I was thinking more of the idea that you are worthy and valuable, even when not reflected in another's eyes. My life is closer to a "Brothers Grimm" than Disney version, for sure. Take care of yourself.

Kitty said...

English Rider: Voilà, you have explained, neatly, the crux of my problem with self-worth. Thank you, it's rather an epiphany. And something I will focus working on, going forward.
Thank you for caring, it means a lot to me.
Bisouxxx, Kitty

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Greetings from Southern California.

I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

God Bless You, ~Ron

Deborah said...

Oh Kitty, this is so honest and artless and open - and sad, at least the love letter is. But despite the loss and regret it contains, you have said you're happy - the resilience of humans is astonishing.

I've been reading a number of your recent posts and am struck by your determination. True grit, I would say. Have added you to my blog roll, which I thought I had done a few months back but seems it never happened. And maybe I should just call myself Deb here so you don't make an association with the horrid Deborah. I didn't enjoy Valentine's Day at school much either, but have no horror stories to tell.

Kitty said...

Ron: Thank you for visiting, I've added myself to follow your Blog.

Kitty said...

Deborah: I could never mistake you for the Deborah of my childhood, I didn't even make the connection until you did!
Thank you for your kind compliment, you are always so eloquent on your own Blog that I am honoured.
This post was me beginning the grieving process so I can let go and move forward in my life. He is happy with a new love interest, and for that I am both delighted and grateful; he is a wonderful, kind and giving man and he deserves the very best that life can offer him.
I can truthfully say that I am a better person for knowing him. The girls and I would not be as happy, safe and content as we are now, had it not been for his help and care. So I celebrate his new-found happiness, even though it is, for me, rather bittersweet.

"Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life.
Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us." ~Marianne Williamson~


When I've taken away everything else, all that remains is love. For me this is as necessary as oxygen to a newborn child. So yes, one foot in front of the other, resolute in my desire to be a proper role model for my children, to improve myself, to be a good friend and to make amends for my past failures and mistakes. That is the focus of my determination.
Hugs and quiches, Kitty xx

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