My Misplaced Love Story

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Christopher and I were married 5 years ago today. It has been a crazy, wild, wonderful, imperfect ride. I’ll share with you some wisdom I’ve gained along the way: No marriage is perfect. It’s hard and it’s messy and there are rough patches. But at the same time it can be wonderful and beautiful and your own personal fairy tale. You just have to work for it.

I hope my story will touch your heart and remind you what is worth working for and to never forget what matters most.

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My love story started on the back of a motorcycle with my arms wrapped tightly around the future I didn’t know was coming. I’d managed to find the dream that consumed my high school fantasies of the guy who could put a check mark in every box on my list. We stole kisses on campus in between classes and held hands on cold nights waiting for the meteor shower that never came. Our fingers intertwined with a country between us through letters stuffed full of promises of love. I fell hard and fast but he caught me with a diamond ring and a vow to explore the world together.

Our cheeks ached from the grins our faces couldn’t contain when we whispered, “Yes” and became a part of each other. We were giddy at a world of possibility; we were anxious to dip our toes into the adventures that awaited.

We moved and traveled and discovered ourselves and each other. We couldn’t sit still; perpetual wanderers. That is, until we had a daughter who wouldn’t stop moving. Then all we wanted was one moment of stillness. She made our entire lives more exciting and more complicated. She filled us with more love than we knew could ever exist. She gave us the reason and purpose we didn’t know we were looking for. She was the perfect addition to our perfect love story.

But then, somehow, without any warning at all, I misplaced it.

Like a book set idly on a shelf, hidden in plain view, it slowly covered with dust and waited alone, lost, forgotten.

There was a house to clean, diapers to change, laundry to fold, a baby to rock, and sanity to find. Our love story didn’t even make the list and remained buried in journals, letters and photo albums tucked away in a box in the garage. It took some time before we even realized that something had been misplaced. Even longer to discover what that something was.

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We attempted to cure our exhaustion and stress glued to bright, flashing screens. The motorcycle had long been sold and the adventures themselves became a wishful fantasy. As a whole, life still appeared good; if asked, we would say we were happy. But there was a tinge of rigidness between us that couldn’t quite be placed. As the seasons changed, date-night came few and far between. My life was ruled by a schedule of chores and tasks. My love story was taking a motorcycle ride without me. Then, almost as suddenly as it had disappeared, I remembered.

I was killing time on a favored screen when I came across the most beautiful story of forbidden love. It touched my heart in a place I had long been neglecting and reminded me of what I had, what I still have that I forgot to nurture.

Later we sat down together and flipped through all the photos that our combined memories had to offer. We reminisced on the ease of being two but agreed that being three was so much better. A couple days later I found a bouquet of flowers on my doorstep, delivered sneakily on his lunch break. The accompanying note brought tears to my eyes and took my breath away. Five years together and I never would have guessed that he could write poetry; beautiful, moving, emotional poetry. Five years later and still so full of surprises.

It was then that I retrieved my love story from its shelf where it was so carelessly tossed, brushed off the dust and let it continue to play out in my life. I was still ruled by the schedule of a wide, crying mouth but I didn’t let it keep me from our vow to explore the world together. Even if it started with the tiniest corner of the world in our tiny home with our tiny daughter, we were doing it together. Always.

But that’s not how my love story ends, the best love stories don’t have endings. Just lots of adventurous middles.

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