We were up early yesterday morning, watching the absolutely beautiful royal wedding of Harry and Meghan- truly the stuff of fairytales. We have lived our own fairytale, too, Dan and I, and we smiled as we reminisced about our courtship and wedding on that special waterfall on the upper Nantahala River on the Summer Solstice. No royal pomp and circumstance or horse-drawn carriages, but just as special to us all the same.
Speaking of water and waterfalls, so much water has passed under the proverbial bridge in the fifteen years that we’ve been together. It made me think of what happens to love in the real world full of challenge, illness, stress, and change. Just how do you hold onto the fairytale through it all?
I had carpel tunnel release surgery this past week, taking us back to UAB Highlands for the umpteenth time. Dan and I added it up; since we’ve been together we’ve been through two shoulder surgeries, two ankle surgeries, three knee procedures, a hysterectomy, hand surgery, nerve ablation procedures, and in the ER for cut fingers, severe food poisoning, and thrown out backs. Not too romantic, that.
Aside from the medical end of things, together we have faced caring for and losing our mothers, the loss of my oldest brother and sister, and dear friends. We’ve lost pets that were family to us. We’ve survived job lay-offs, financial challenges, failures, and disappointments.
Together we have also faced many successes, good fortune, and joy, too. That’s just it, isn’t it? Life is a wonderful mixture of all those things, from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows and everything in between. Love is just the same and can grow even more rich, strong, and resilient when it is baptized in the messy stuff of real life.
Real love is not perfect; it is a miraculous combination of two very imperfect people coming together to face whatever life brings. A love that can withstand the wide spectrum from challenge to joy over time builds security and respect, as well as a bond of mutual trust and deep comfort. Knowing that no matter what happens you can get through any situation together- well, that is priceless. It’s also the kind of fairytale I can believe in, happily ever after.