Do you have a clear idea about what finding true love would look and feel like to you? I got a glimpse of mine when I was just eight years old. I saw a relationship that was so different than my parents’ partnership-of-necessity that I was mesmerized. I wanted that kind of true love for myself. I knew that I would not, could not settle for anything less.
As a young girl, I was fortunate to have two loving and generous “adopted” grandparents. Friends of my parents, Grandma and Grandpa S showered me with attention and affection.
I loved hearing Grandpa and Grandma’s story of how they eloped. Their parents had forbidden them to date because of religious differences (Grandma was Episcopalian and Grandpa Methodist). At 17, Grandpa borrowed his parents’ buggy, and rode up to Grandma’s house at midnight. He crawled up on the roof and helped her sneak out of the bedroom window.
At 16, Grandma, was ready to run off and marry her true love. Over 50 years, three children and many grandchildren later, they were still in love and happy to be with each other.
On one visit, Grandma asked if I would like to see her quilts. She made exquisite hand-stitched, vibrant quilts and brought down these special treasures on most of our visits. As we started walking to her bedroom, she paused and looked very confused. “Teddy,” she said, “Where are my quilts?”
I must have looked completely shocked, because Grandpa put his arm tenderly around her shoulders and said, “It’s alright. Sometimes my love just forgets where things are so I can help her.” He brought us both into their bedroom and reached up to the familiar box that held her quilts. He demonstrated a loving kindness, honor and respect that deeply touched me.
In that moment, I realized that I wanted to be loved like that. I wanted someone who would create a life with me through thick and thin. I wanted someone to look at me with love in his eyes even when I forgot the little things. I wanted someone to be there to put his arm around me and comfort me when it got scary. My eight-year old eyes created a vision that I would hold the rest of my life.
My mother used to tell me that I was just too fussy to find love. She explained that in her day, women didn’t have that many choices so they settled for what they could get. I rarely see that same loving look in faces who haven’t chosen love.
Are you settling for a love that feels less than what you imagined love could be? Or have you given up on finding anything that remotely looks like true love? Like anything else in our lives, sometimes we need to create a new vision of what is possible before we can begin to create it.
Would your life be any different if you discovered the love of your life today?