I leaned in for a kiss, tasting the red wine on his lips. And time stood still. This. This is what I wanted to remember. The feeling of being wanted. The feeling of being cared for and appreciated. The way he looked at me, the way he made me throw my head back in laughter. The way he held my hand in comfortable silence.
After a 22 year marriage that ended, leaving me rejected and abandoned, I sure as hell didn't want to enter into another relationship with the anticipation of it ending the same. So I was guarded, protecting my heart, protecting my emotions, not needing anyone to rescue me, but forever praying for that one person who actually cherished me.
And HE came along, sweeping me up in a rush of emotion that had been gone for so long.
I wanted to be wanted by someone. He wanted me. I longed to be adored. Again, he delivered. I wanted for someone to look at me as successful and strong and beautiful and fierce. Once again, he showed up.
Waiting for a relationship like this was definitely a roller coaster of emotions, a careful dance of sorts. I desired to be accepted, so I would tread carefully in an advance. With a fleeting look from him I would retract a step so as not to raise the question of being worthy of him. So many careful steps, back and forth, only to be told that they were unnecessary, that he wouldn't shy away or be frightened about the heavy baggage I felt I was carrying. He was my knight in shining armor, the one my heart had longed for, even during my marriage.
Relationships are so tough to navigate, especially after being with one person for so many years. You get too comfortable, too unappreciative of the other, and when that other leaves and you begin searching for another, praying that the best is yet to come, the odds seem to be stacked against you. You're too careful, too safe, too questioning, too blind sometimes to see what is right in front of you. And once you do see it, you spend your time second guessing every move and word and look until you feel yourself in a tailspin on the way to an out-of-control downward spiral.
So as I pull away from his red wine kiss, I take the time to stop and drink him in. His eyes, his smile, the precious way he winks at me, all of it. I want to remember to appreciate everything about this man who has rescued me in more ways than he will ever know. I want to memorize the lines of his face, the curve of his jaw. I want to remember to never take him for granted and to always appreciate who he is and what he stands for. I want to walk into this relationship with my eyes open, full of amazement at the gift of a new beginning.