I believe in love. Gut-wrenching. Tear-jerking. All-consuming love.
I married young, right out of college. I waited to have children. I did everything I thought would make my relationship strong and lasting. I did everything, except marry the right person. I married someone who deceived me, fathered children with me, and then left us to fend for ourselves. I was devastated and confused. But, I never, ever gave up. A few times, I came pretty close.
I am raising three children alone. One of my children has autism, an excruciatingly confusing disability. Out of the blue, recently, my child became a biter. She started out biting the backs of her hands, and now she is biting students and teachers. Who wants to tell a potential suitor that they have a biter in the house? Well, alas, I did, and he loves me and her anyway.
Dating was a chore, to say the least. After my divorce, I had a one year old, a three year old and a six year old. Oh, and I forgot to mention that my autistic child does not talk, so we use picture communication and sign language. One of my greatest fears was always of dating a child molester. Needless to say, I didn’t date much.
I don’t think I ever saw myself as the problem. You see, I love love. I love romance novels. I love love stories. I love “chick flicks.” I am probably obsessed with the possibility of love. It always seemed to me that if I didn’t have love I didn’t have much. When my children were growing up and I let them go with relatives for the summer, it was the loneliest three months of the year. I would go into their rooms and smell their pillows or sleep in their beds. I loved that I had three lovely beings to love me. But, many years passed before I found romantic love again.
Then as magically as it happens in the movies, it happened to me. A colleague heard that I was going to see the play, “Hamlet,” all alone. He probably felt sorry for me, because I am a pretty decent person, so he set me up on a blind date. Yuck, blind date, I remember thinking. Regular dates were bad enough! What kind of losers go on a blind dates?
Me and the blind date exchanged telephone numbers and talked on the phone for a couple of weeks before we agreed to meet. We wrote poetry. We sent emails. We fell asleep on the phone like a couple of teenagers. Then, we met. We were instantly attracted. Instantly comfortable. Instantly enamored. Our date lasted eight hours. The next day, he called. We had dinner. The next day, he called again. The next day, I called. And with each day that passed and that still passes, we love each other more and more. I am finally happily in love and I believe that it can happen to anyone.
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