Today, I spent the afternoon with the man of my dreams.
I met him when we were a never-been-kissed sort of seventeen-years old.
He was not just my first kiss.
He was there for me when I was on top of the world, living my teenage dreams — and he was also there when everything fell apart.
He was right by my side when my doctors told me I had cancer – something I would learn to be Hodgkin’s Disease. He was also there a month later when my mother told us she had breast cancer.
He held my hand through the best of times and the worst of times, truly in sickness and in health. He brought laughter and lightness to my world as my mother and I navigated the darkness of hospitals, treatments, vomiting, surgeries and hair loss.
When I broke down in tears, he wiped them away.
One night, sitting in his car in my driveway, I sobbed uncontrollably about my teenage drama — I just wanted to be normal. I didn’t want to have cancer I wanted to go to the prom with a full head of hair.
Justin held me in his arms, wiped away my tears, looked straight into my eyes and said in his best deadpan voice, “Jamie, you will never be normal … and who would want to be normal, anyway?”
He always knew how to make me laugh.
A year later, college and real life and growing up started to happen and we ended our relationship.
It only took fifteen more years for us to find each other again.
On Facebook of all places.
I often wonder what would have happened if we never broke up. If we had stayed together as a couple through college. Where would our lives have gone? What road would we have taken together? And, would we have ended up here, in this very same place?
We’ll never know.
Whatever it took for the two of us to find each other again is unbelievably hard to fathom. The timing, the coordination, the chance that a girl on the east coast could reconnect with a boy on the west coast?
It’s not an accident.
But, at times, it feels like we are Accidentally In Love.
Like a second chance, two young hearts and old souls finally reconnected. As if we were always headed in this lovemore direction anyway. As if we would have met on this path no matter which decision we made.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
As I sat down to write tonight, Etta James came through the speakers on my Pandora Radio channel.
I couldn’t say it any better.