“Dogs possess a quality that’s rare among humans — the ability to make you feel valued just by being you — and it was something of a miracle to me to be on the receiving end of all that acceptance. The dog didn’t care what I looked like, or what I did for a living, or what a train wreck of a life I’d led before I got her, or what we did from day to day. She just wanted to be with me, and that awareness gave me a singular sensation of delight. I kept her in a crate at night until she was housebroken, and in the mornings I’d let her up onto the bed with me. She’d writhe with joy at that. She’d wag her tail and squirm all over me, lick my neck and face and eyes and ears, get her paws all tangled in my braid, and I’d just lie there, and I’d feel those oceans of loss from my past ebbing back, ebbing away, and I’d hear myself laugh out loud.”
– Caroline Knapp
You have to admit, crazy or not, we all do things for love. We step way outside our comfort zone when we’re dating, and the more serious things get the more likely we are to do something strange in the name of amore. Shoot, this nutty instinct still kicks in even after you’ve been together for years.
Sometimes the acts are big, sometimes they’re small…and sometimes they just seem downright bizarre.
‘Cuz, you know…love.
“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
– Henri J.M. Nouwen
Apparently the kids these days have embraced a “talking” phase in dating. Best I can tell it’s an opening salvo of we like each other but do we LIKE like each other? Enough to stop seeing other people? We’re not 100% sure so why don’t we just text until one of us is driven insane trying to read the level of interest between the lines.
Sounds like good times indeed.
“One minute, everything’s great. He’s texting you back, you’re procrastinating your homework because finding out if you two are more like Noah and Ally or Sandy and Danny is more important than school. Then BAM. Out of nowhere, you’re with three of your friends, on your bedroom floor, deciphering texts like mad scientists, looking for any possibility or inkling that he may have the same feelings as you have.”
Lessons for our Daughter
You are worthy.
Helping you prepare for the father/daughter dance was a precious gift for me.
It’s not your fancy dress and shoes I’ll remember years from now. It’s carrying an armload of dresses into the fitting room together. It’s seeing you decide what makes you feel good. It’s watching you twirl in each dress and laughing ourselves silly over nothing at all.
You sit patiently as my fingers work braids into your hair, and with each one I’m weaving my love into your heart.
You take my breath away when you’re zipped into your dress, and wearing your grandmother’s earrings is my undoing. I explain they are happy tears but you fold me into your arms anyway, accepting my love and giving yours in return.
We see you, inside and out, and are dazzled by your beauty. Everyone you love should be willing to recognize your true self and celebrate you for all you are.
You should see yourself for who you truly are. Recognize your gifts and live into your potential. You bring your own light into this world.
The look on your face when your dad pulls up is priceless. Remember this. Anyone you give your heart to should make you feel as if you’re about to begin a new adventure together.
Someone who cares about you will show respect. Walking you to the car, opening your door, looking for ways to make your day better – the little things can be the most telling.
Life will never be perfect. Those you love should bring you joy and help share your sorrows. You may squabble, but you should also be able to work through it. In the grand scheme of things, the scales should always tip enough that you are happy to see one another at the end of the day.
Stand tall, sweet girl. You are loved truly and deeply.
And know that you are worthy.
"In the end we won't remember the most beautiful face and body. We'll remember the most beautiful heart and soul." - unknown
Watching them that day was like seeing unbridled joy collide with utter adoration. Love and delight shone all around them, brighter than the sun as a blast of energy exploded out of the water, spinning furiously through the air before crashing with a dazzling splash.
It was one of those moments forever frozen in time, precious for both T-man and Bear’s love for BrightSide and his limitless devotion to them.
Hundreds of stars had to align so that I would meet BrightSide at exactly the right moment in my life.
My dad had to be stationed in Virginia during my high school years so UVA would even be on my radar. I had to love Virginia enough to want to return for college, even though everyone around me was applying to New England schools. BrightSide had lots of great Virginia schools to choose from, then he had to decide he’d rather attend UVA than play basketball for a smaller school.
We had to meet each other amidst 13,000+ undergraduate students. Somehow we landed ourselves in the same public speaking class, but we were both involved in serious relationships at the time. Meaning we both had to end up leaving those serious relationships and then somehow run into each other again. At a school with over 13,000 people wandering around. Yep.
Then, in the ultimate cosmic twist, BrightSide and I not only ran into each other at a party but we met again the very day that we’d split from those other relationships.
Now, who can argue with timing like that?
Fate, the universe, God’s master plan – whatever you choose to call it, the stars certainly aligned so the two of us met at exactly the right moment. And my life has been all the better for it.
My post as part of Colline’s Gratitude Project.