Thursday, September 27, 2012

To Mothers

For all of the amazing Mothers, step mothers and mother figures, you are amazing.

All of you.

Here's to the Chloes of the world who are rocks to their children, sturdy, consistent and always there with unconditional love and sound advice.

Here's to the Staceys of Manchester who work exhaustingly long hours from and are full time Mums too - cooking, cleaning, working, loving... How do you do it?

Here's to the Lisas of California whose parenting makes their children want to be their best and whose love is eternal.

Here's to the Sarahs of Nottingham who let their grown up children make their own mistakes but who will love them forever no matter what those errors are.

Here's to the Beths of Newcastle who open their homes and their hearts to troubled teenagers whose own parents have failed them. You give yourself completely and it's incredible.

Here's to the step Mothers and step Mother figures all over the world who have selflessly given themselves to children not biologically theirs, for however long or short a period. To touch the lives of children not your own (whether for a short time or forever) is one of the most selfless and precious gifts a woman can give.

Here's to the Mothers who've passed and who we think of every single day.

Here's to the unwavering advice Mothers are able to give, to the wisdom they impart and to the unforgiving lengths they go to in order to protect their children.

I've said it before and I will say it again - you amaze me.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Things I Should Say Every Single Day

I was running late this morning. I jetted out of the house with a slice of toast hanging out of my mouth. As I got into the car, I received a text from Chloe:

"Here's the kiss you didn't have time for xxxxxxx"

I got out of the car, went back into the house and kissed my wife. Because I should never be in too much of a rush to do it.

My Mother used to tell me day in, day out that I should consider every single goodbye as the last, even just the goodbye I uttered as a teenager leaving the house to go to school every morning. She did that. As we were growing up, it was part of our morning routine. Mum would tell my sister and me how much she loved us over breakfast and she'd kiss us before she left for work. Every single day, without fail and (much to my horror as a sulky teen) regardless of whether we had friends around!

Yes, I was late this morning. But it was a small price to pay for a proper morning goodbye.

I will never be in too much of a rush to kiss my love goodbye in the morning. And it's not just the goodbyes I'm sometimes guilty of cutting corners on. There are so many things I should say every single day that I don't.

So, Chloe, my wife, my soulmate, my purpose, here are the things I should make the time to tell you every single day, because these are the definition of truth:

I know nothing truer than my love for you and our children. 

I still take the time every single morning to watch you as you wake up. In that state of half-sleepiness, you are at your most vulnerable. And it's as you are in this state that I am reminded of how much I love you and how much I live to protect you.

You are sexy. You are so, so beautiful to me and become more so with every single day that passes.

You're the funniest person I know.

You're the most creative person I know.

You're one of the most intelligent people I've ever had in my life.

You're driven, ambitious and that is the most admirable quality for a woman to have.

You are as wonderful a Mother as my own was.

I feel grateful every single day to have you in my life.

For the first time in my life, I believe I was made for someone. I was made for you and we fit.

Everything is better because you're in my life.

Chloe, I will never leave the house without kissing you again, my love xxx

Saturday, September 15, 2012

We Don't Unlove

Humans are not built to 'unlove.' We don't get to choose who we love, when we love them and when we switch it off.

And it's on that basis and understanding that I was very sympathetic to the tears shed publicly by Chloe's ex at a wedding we went to today. Chloe's ex is a woman, a very bright and ambitious woman, kind, funny and sweet. She saw our little family, our son, tiny daughter and the ever growing bump that will be our 3rd child and she broke down into tears.

They've had their share of nasty exchanges over the last year, Chloe and Kirsty. Kirsty accuses Chloe of 'selling out to a boring straight lifestyle' and breaking her heart in the process. Chloe accuses Kirsty of turning some of their mutual friends against Chloe.

The truth is that Chloe and Kirsty split up. Some time later, Chloe and I fell in love and that seemed to mark with no degree of uncertainty that there would be no reunion for Kirsty and Chloe. And Kirsty hated me for the longest time. I understand it. I would have felt the same in her situation.

But tonight, when she broke down in tears at the wedding reception of a mutual friend, I felt her pain acutely. Chloe walked away to take the children away from that situation. I would ordinarily have followed, not keen to get into an argument in public. But I felt the need to talk to Kirsty and so I signalled to Chloe that I'd catch her up.

"Can I get you a drink?" I asked her. "Maybe it's time you and I had a chat that is made up of more than a series of expletives."


"I'm not getting you a red wine though. It has to be something clear in case you throw it over my shirt shortly..."

She managed a laugh.

We sat in a quiet corner of an otherwise bustling afternoon wedding reception full of happy adults, excited children and proud family-of-the-newly-weds. We said nothing for a few minutes. She was sobbing and I immediately felt this sense of compassion - not just because I am now married to the woman she cried for, but because I have felt what she is feeling. And I understand with such precision how helpless and full of unending sorrow she feels right now.

"Look," I said. "I think you and I have more in common than you like to think."

"Adam," she said, "With all due respect I don't think we have a single thing in common."

"We both know what heartbreak feels like," I ventured. "And we both know what true love feels like. And we both think Chloe is the most wonderful human being on Earth."

She cried more and I felt like I'd said the wrong thing, so decided to stop talking.

She eventually piped up.

"You're right. We have that in common. But I hate you for taking her from me."

"I didn't take her, Kirsty. You were already broken up. I fell in love with her. There's no crime in that. She fell for me and there's nothing we could have done about it. You know we can't control those things, cos if we could you'd have turned off how you feel about her right now. You'd have just stopped."

"Maybe. But maybe this intense pain is the only thing keeping me connected to her."

We talked some more. We developed an understanding. She will never like me, but she knows now that I understand her. And that I am not the reason that she and Chloe didn't work out.

She decided not long after that she was going to leave. She wasn't feeling up for it. She approached Chloe as she was going to leave, pulled her in for a (somewhat reluctant) hug and said,

"Your family is perfect. And you're made for one another. Good luck."

That was a beautiful gesture. And one I won't forget for a long time.

Because the truth is that as humans, we are not meant to unlove. We're not built to turn off emotions when they're inconvenient. We're simply not ever able to learn to not love someone. It either happens or it doesn't. And for me, love is something that lasts a lifetime. I've learnt that about myself. I don't fall out of love.

But sometimes love transitions and changes slightly. And we all learn to move on eventually.

I hope Kirsty gets there soon.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Breaking Up and Loving Again

First, I learned to breathe without you.
Then I learned to live without you.
Finally, I learned to love without you.

We’ve all been there, that tragic, Earth stopping moment that the ‘love of your life’ tells you it’s over. Your throat swells and it seems like hours and hours before you can breathe again. But in reality, it’s seconds.

Yes, really. Seconds. Within seconds of hearing that information, you’ve already learned (albeit you don’t really process it then) that you can breathe without that individual in your life.

You eventually accept, though perhaps don’t like, that the relationship is over. And you spend hours and hours during the nights crying alone in the dark. You try to carry on with the day to day but everything seems to have her name on it or a reminder of her. You see someone who looks like her and have to stop yourself staring. You hear a song you both loved. You see a book you know she would love. You experience a moment and wish she were there to share it. You’re not really living without her. She’s just absent while you continue to live with her in your mind and your heart.

But as the days continue, she interrupts your thoughts less and less. And one day, you climb in bed and realise that you didn’t think of her once during the daylight hours.

Eventually, she stops visiting your thoughts in the night too. You don’t do anything specifically to stop it. It just happens. Time takes care of things. You stop wondering what you could have done differently.

This is the point at which you’ve started to claim your heart back. You’re not quite ready to give it to someone else though, not until you have every last piece of it.

But you get there eventually. You do. You realise you have it all back, every last piece. And maybe it’s a little bit broken or cracked in places. But that doesn’t matter. As long as you have it all, that’s what counts.

Finally, you meet someone else. They accept that your heart is cracked in places and you must accept that of their heart too. But as long as you both have all of the pieces, you can help one another put the bits back together.

And for the luckiest amongst us, we realise that what we thought was the love of our life was not. It was a love, yes. But it was never meant to last forever. It was a gift while it lasted and you learned from it, but it was never supposed to last forever. We realise this because we find something that puts everything else into perspective. We find a soul mate.

I found a soul mate in someone who had been just a friend for years. And we have built a beautiful home and are blessed with an amazing little family.

And the world is wonderful once again J

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I See You

My Darling,

I see you. I see you sometimes clearer than I see myself. I see the outline of all the things that scarred your beautiful heart and I trace my finger gently along their outline, casting them carefully away.

Your flaws are a part of what makes you so beautiful, my love. The scars you bear on your beautiful heart have shaped it into what it is and what you are now. 

Love was never kind to you, was it? Love seemed never to favour you and instead seemed to scorn you. Love was what seemed to cause you most of the hurt you endured. That will hurt no more now - because I'll protect your heart. I will protect it with my life, my love.

This time, love will be kind. Love will be fair. Love will be sweet. Because it's mutual, because it's unconditional and because it's the only thing I've ever truly believed I can give you forever.

Your Soul Mate