I’ve always believed, well I learned from a young age that the measure of a man is the sacrifices he’s wiling to make for those he loves.
I believe in this so much that I began to build my entire life around it.
At the age of eight I witnessed my mom have her heart broken by the man who helped conceive me. It broke my heart to see her in so much pain. I was eight and I didn’t know much about life or the world but I’d been brought up to ask God for help when you felt lost or alone. Even though my mom had my sister and I, I felt her pain. I felt her loneliness.
So one night as she lay asleep next to me in her bed, I got up and knelt down beside her in bed to pray.
“God…um…please make my mom be happy again…take away her pain…please…I’ll do anything…
“Even if it means I have to go through her pain for her…If you have to take it out on me, fine…do it…whatever that may be…just please…let my mom have love…even if it means I have to leave…”
I stood on the bed, both arms held up and stretched to my sides, “Please…take me if you have to but protect her and my sister and let them be loved deeply. I want them to be happy…even if it means I can’t be…”
I stood there waiting but nothing happened. I slowly knelt back down teary eyed, “Please…amen.” Then I kissed my mom’s forehead and lied down.
Sometimes you have to choose what you’re willing to give up for those you love and hope it’s enough.
And then sometimes there’s a bit of a reversal and you have to let go of the one you love, in the name of love. You have to sift through any amount of pain and find hope; split that hope in half and send a piece of it with them as a way of showing how much you love and support them.
That’s where I’m at now.
But first you should know that for a long time I’d convinced myself that I’d never find a love that’s true. A love that was real.
Fun fact: just because you convince yourself of something, that doesn’t make it true.
Now I’ve always believed in love, always. Love is and will always be humanity’s greatest accomplishment.
Think about it.
Needless to say I was wrong. Not only did I find and have that love and share it mutually but I knew it had been made all for me and I deserved it.
For three months, we shared our love. For three months I was able to accept and believe in my full potential. It’s odd in a way to know it was love from the start but when it was said aloud for the first time, as I looked down at her and asked why she was smiling, that’s when I knew I wasn’t dreaming. After I asked her why she was smiling I didn’t expect her response.
She said it softly, but with purpose.
“I love you.”
For a few seconds I thought I was dreaming.
I didn’t have to question whether or not she meant it because I could feel it. Pulsing in her heartbeat, shinning through in her smile.
In that moment, I knew I’d love her forever. I’d love her through whatever came our way. In that moment I was completely vulnerable, afraid of losing that vulnerability because I wanted her to see everything I am. In that moment every secret of the universe was revealed, in the depths of her eyes…those eyes that could knock me out from clear across a room without even trying. In that moment, I knew I’d love her more than I loved myself. As if my whole life had been leading me to that moment.
I’d never woken up next to someone and just been completely happy. In that moment, I knew I’d be lucky to make her feel half of what I felt.
And for the first time in my life I knew I deserved it. I knew in that moment that I was capable of anything because together, our love was everything.
Not only did I get to love her but I got to love her three-year-old son as well. At the age of twenty-six I realized that what I wanted more than anything in the world was to be a husband and a father. And part of that was happening. It was the beginning of the making of a family, my family…our family, and I’d never been happier. Neither of us had.
Now, now I’ve been asked to let her go. I have to let them both go. And I can’t figure out any reason why someone would bring a child into this world and not want to be a part of their life. I fail to understand that now more than ever before.
This is by far the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
I’ll miss them both with all my heart.
The love of my life asked me to let her go because there are things she needs to sort out on her own.
There’s nothing more I’d like than to be by her side to help her through it all, but that’s not what she asked of me. This is her journey to take and because I understand the power of self-reflection, I’m respectful of her request.
I love her and I promised from the beginning I’d always give her anything she needs.
I’ve built my life on two principles: love and sacrifice. We both have love for the other and her request makes it an equal sacrifice.
I know that I’ll never be the same for all the best reasons. And, I blame you for that. I’m a better man than I ever thought I’d be because I was blessed with the chance to love you and because you were able to love me.
I’ve heard it said that one-day life gives you everything you wanted. When you least expect it life will surprise you by granting your heart’s desire just when you feel like giving up.
Well that, just like this story, is all true.