1st John 4: 16-18 God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 17This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
Last year May 2nd was on a Friday. Even though Lindsey and I had never talked about the emotional connection we were making in the past few weeks since beginning her bathroom remodel in late March, it was growing stronger seemingly by the minute. We both knew there was more to this dinner on May 2nd at my home than we would admit to until later. She was out with girlfriends a couple nights before and was furiously sending me texts all evening and telling me how they were just giggling and talking and that “secrets” were being shared. It did not take a rocket scientist to know they were talking about me but I didn’t ask so as not to seem insecure. The bathroom was completed on April 26th which was a Saturday. She came over on Sunday nite and brought Armstrong because I told her that my little dogs missed him and wondered if he was going to visit again soon lol. We played scrabble (she Always wins at scrabble) and had a great time listening to records. I had just got 3 Tears For Fears albums a couple days before and I knew she loved 80’s music!
She texted me on Monday the 29th to tell me she loved the bathroom and told me to tell KC how much she appreciated all our work.Then she invited me to dinner and singing/playing guitar at her place on Friday which was May 2nd last year. I said I would rather she come over because I was dying to make one of my favorite meals of grilled lamb. She agreed only if it meant that the next Friday I came to her place for dinner. How could I refuse!
She had asked me if I were interested in going with her to a 10 week Bible study small group that would explore Romans 12: 1-21 that would include having dinner with the group at the hosts home on Mondays and was sponsored by her church fellowship: Woodland Hills. She said they needed more guys to balance out the group. I was excited to see more of her since the bathroom project was now completed. That whole week we texted and chatted on FaceBook beginning early in the morning until she went to bed.
The anticipation of hearing my phone chime was crazy. I was so distracted at work and the guys on the jobsite just rolled their eyes at me constantly because I was telling them I was falling in love with this girl and we had not even kissed yet. They laughed at me and just enjoyed seeing me happy for the first time. I decided on Wednesday the 30th that I would go over to her place before she got home from work and fix the storm door on her front porch just as a surprise. I wasn’t going to charge her for fixing it. I wanted to just have her wonder what happened since it was busted pretty bad. I got there and worked on it for a while but it was hopeless. The wind had damaged the hinges so bad it would never work right again. As I am picking up my tools she drives up and I felt like a little kid who got busted with his hand in the cookie jar. She walks up and gives me a grin like she recognized my embarrassment but let it go with me telling her I was nearby and wanted to see if I could fix it for her. She said that since I had come all that way that we could put on her downspouts.
A couple of them had come off and were causing issues in the basement. We got out the ladder and as I was attaching the downspout to the actual gutter at the roof I dropped my screw gun. I asked her to please hand it to me and as she reached up high on the ladder with it our eyes met. I touched her hand a little more tenderly than a contractor guy getting a tool from a helper and dang near fell off the ladder! We both averted our eyes after that touch, but a stage was being set and we both knew it. I knew what I saw on her face as well as knew what she saw on mine.
The day I got busted trying to fix her storm door, later on that night as we were texting she said she was so surprised to see me and that she was wishing it were Friday night already! She was thrilled about getting together. On Thursday night May 1st she was out with girlfriends and playfully texted me with a thought that perhaps she would call in sick friday morning if I could take take the day off. We could be together the whole day!
But she was just playing with my heart, seeing if I would make a sudden change of plans if it meant getting together for the whole day. Gosh my heart even as I write it now remembers the jitters knowing this date could change everything. She told me she couldn’t take it off and was curious if I would have done it and then firmed up our 4‘oclock for her coming over to my place for dinner on Friday. She also told me that she could be up for an adventure on Tuesdays and Thursdays since those were her days off.
During the day that Friday we were texting and seeing when she would be able to make it (she had to wait for patients to be picked up at the clinic before she could leave) and she is telling me she is available to go to the Institute and see the Matisse exhibit on Tuesday which I had told her I wanted to see. She suggested we could repair some holes in my plaster at my house on Tuesday and then go to see the exhibit and I said or we could go Thursday and she said perhaps we might see each other Tuesday and Thursday and wondered if I might get tired of seeing her?!
She made it to my place at 4 and I had already prepped one of my very special meals. I really love to cook and the few things I know how to make I have elevated them to a very high level and I had saved what I feel and my friends who have had it think is my best for this nite with Lindsey. Garlic encrusted boneless lamb shoulder and golden potato wedges soaked for a few hours in raspberry vinegar and then dried off and coated with olive oil and cracked pepper, kosher salt and fresh rosemary. It. Is. Amazing.
I asked Lindsey to help me prepare the spinach and romaine salad and we bumped into each other in my kitchen while cutting up all the veggies. We quickly knew the energy between us was starting to show thru.
She brought a nice Pinot Noir and candles were lit and music was playing and the beginnings of what I enjoyed most about being with her: our eyes began to meet and we would not avert our gaze. Conversation, deeper than the encumbrance of speech, was flowing easily between our hearts as our eyes betrayed the tenderness in our shared gaze.
After dinner and putting the dishes away, we sat down on the couch to listen to music. I have to say I have an Amazing turntable and all tube stereo. We had been on the couch before listening to music, but Never this close.
It’s a night I will never forget. I decided it was time to see how far the rabbit hole went. I am still amazed at our love and how we just poured gasoline on the fires in each of our hearts and let the flames of it consume our fears and our pasts. I don’t have to even think about it, I Know there was never a fear in our hearts that anything bad could ever happen between us. I am still mystified at how we both could perceive that truth so early on. It seems impossible, but it all really happened.
The ambivalence about our feelings ended that night. After a little “excuse me kiss” that met no resistance, I was greeted with a huge wide eyed smile from Lindsey. The ice was truly broken. Kisses and hugs and laughter and both of us saying how glad we were to finally know that what each of us had been feeling was the same. For the next 90 minutes the earth seemed to stop spinning, we were caught up in each other. We just finally relaxed. All the tension which existed in the uncertainty of our relationship was over. All the flirting which was so fun but all plausibly deniable just evaporated.
I have enjoyed the kisses of a few women but its a process to learn how each other kisses and likes to be kissed. From the first kiss and in fact we said it to each other right away, it felt like we had been together for a long time, we already knew how to kiss each other.
I have defined our relationship here in the blog a couple times as BK and AK. Before the Kiss and After the Kiss.
I can tell you now. There was never a moment of fear after this kiss, for either of us. I guess I will wonder at some things for the rest of my life. What made us so right for each other?
What made us abandon fear so enthusiastically, so effortlessly, so entirely? It could not have been more complimentary, and where it was not perfect, that just served as a place to make it perfect and that too is a mystery. How could I be just what she needed? And how could she be just what I always wanted? So many questions. The only answer is that we tapped into Love itself. She brought me back to God and showed me what love really was and I brought her to God and He made her what she always wanted to be: Loved.
Driving back from Texas (this past Sunday April 26) my friend Bob who “married” us in St Paul said some profound things to me. He knows how pure and beautiful our love was and he is the person who told me 20 years ago that I would not just survive but Flourish after my first wife abandoned our marriage without warning and without cause.
He told me that about 6 weeks after she left, and I believed him. I took that truth and began a journey that saw me come back from near death toward a new life and new hopes.
That night while driving back from Texas, I was really in despair before reaching out to Bob. Trying but failing these past couple months to have some hope and finding none.
He said to me: “John, you will heal, you will recover. You will because the love you had with and for Lindsey was pure. The love you made together and the bond you had with her was rooted in truth and in God’s own character. God is Love. That Love will overcome this tragedy and the hallmark of that Love will be your success. Love never fails and it overcomes even this darkness. What you guys had was not just sentiment. What you guys had means that the end of this story is not her death but your healing. It will be Lindsey’s love even from the grave that will see it through. It Cannot fail”.
I know what he said is true and I believe it.
I am moving forward. I can never move on though. I will never get over her. That doesn’t mean I won’t be happy again or that I may even love again. But I will never be loved like Lindsey loved me because the truth is only Lindsey could love me that way.
I can say from my end, but I am sure she would say the same: She was easy to love. She made me want to be loved. She made me want to love her better than I have ever done anything in my life.
And I believe I did.