Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Love Story, Part I

I first met him when I was 13 and he was 14. He never said a word to me, but I was over-the-moon smitten. Over the next four years a friendship grew and then died. The twists and turns of
life separated us and we did not see each other for nearly ten years. Somehow, however, I knew, I had found my man. "That's who I'm going to marry when I grow up," I promised my sister one day.

At 25 I became a foster mom to a precious 2-year-old girl (now 16) and my friends all thought I was a little off my rocker. At 26 I took in a brother and sister sibling-set (age 6 and 7) and friends scratched their heads. Three months later I brought home my 9-year-old son from a group home and everyone knew I had lost it completely. But I knew I was living my dream-come-true.

I was a happy bridesmaid for several of my friends, but never in a hurry to get married myself. If it happened someday that would be good. If it never happened, that would be fine with me too. Some of my friends became a little concerned at how unconcerned I was. But I knew I was already living my dream-come-true.

And then ...

One day ...

A nearly forgotten friendship rekindled.

It started with a long-distance phone call. "Hello, Margie? It's Shawn." And my stomach flip-flopped, nose-dived, and tied itself in hundred little bow-tie knots. Could this be happening? I wiped my sweaty palms on my skirt and pretended like it was no. big. deal.

We talked for hours. For weeks. For months. We laughed. We teased. He shared his hopes and dreams and I shared mine. Our friendship blossomed and grew, until that fateful day when he told me he was interested in something more than friendship. And. I. froze.

Deer-in-the-headlights, mind-numbing fear washed over me. I told him I was perfectly happy with our friendship the way it was. He said he wanted to move out to where I lived. I panicked.

What was wrong with me?! I loved him. I loved him not. I wanted him in my life. I wanted to run away. My daughter wanted me to marry him. My son wanted me to forget all about him. Marriage is such a huge, life-altering, destiny-determining decision and I did NOT want to mess up!

I am not a poet, but it has always been somewhat therapeutic for me to write poetry. I find myself turning to it when greatly distressed about a situation. The rhyme and the meter focus my thoughts. As the words tumble out in a patterned and orderly form, I can often find answers and resolution where before I had only questions.

Finally, pen in hand, I sat down with a blank sheet of paper and tried to make sense of my heart. I poured out my thoughts into verse and delivered to the man who loved me this poem. It's entitled, "If..."

If I gave you my heart, what would you do?
Would you toss it away or break it in two?
Would you guard it like treasure, as precious as gold?
Would you still love me, when I am frail and old?

If I gave you my dreams, what would you do?
Would you laugh them away, or make them yours too?
Would you pray for them daily or trample them to dust?
Would you encourage me onward or shatter my trust?

If I gave you my life, what would you do?
Would you bring me to honor? Would you be true?
Would you love me forever or just for a night?
Would you make me your queen? Would my spirit take flight?

If I struggle, please be patient, as I think all this through.
If I tremble, please be gentle, as I ponder what to do.
I have but one life to live for God, one heart to give to you.
If I pledged myself to you, what would you do?

To be continued...