Friday, September 7, 2012

The Risk Involved.

Jeez, I was on such a blogging roll for....well, 4 days or so there.

Anyway, I'm back! 5 days and 50 miles later, I returned having completed the backpacking journey. It was challenging, it was painful, it was beautiful and awesome and I would do it again.

With some tweaks. More on all that later.

I know I've been on a bit of a poetic, "love is grand" kick lately. I'm sorry. I'm sure that is annoying to some. But the thing is, it's more than just romantic love to which this grandness applies. It's love for your family--your parents, your grandparents, your children. Love for your friends, the ones who've heard your deepest, darkest secrets without flinching, not even slightly.

See, RP, in an effort to explain a house project he'd been working on tonight, sent me a short video of his progress, narrating the whole thing for 54 seconds. And it just stopped me in my tracks, in the mall parking lot. The unexpected sound of the voice I love so much. Oddly and morbidly enough, it brought to mind a scene in that damn Hilary Swank movie, "P.S. I love You". You know, the one where her husband (ahem, Gerard Butler) dies at like 34. She plays his voicemail greeting over and over and over again, just trying to hold on to that piece of him. Listening to that voice narrate the patching of a closet wall, I thought, "What if something happens to him?...What if he goes away, and this is all I have left of the life, the comfort that his voice alone can bring?"

God willing, when he goes away, it will be when we're very old. And I'll go with him, just like The Notebook. God willing, I'll have years of happy memories to hold on to. The same is true of every person I hold dear in my life, but the question still lingers:

What happens if I lose you?

And right there is the scariest part of loving anyone, in any way. There is no "if" I lose you, but WHEN. What happens WHEN I lose you?

I had never let this thought cross my mind when I lost my friend Jen at the age of 26. I'd not yet ventured into that place, where fear of being without something so dear to you seems to draw the breath from your lungs. Once (oh, and only once) I considered what my life would have been like had she not appeared, all beautiful and crazy, to shake things up a bit. Without my having to ask it, the question of, "would I have been better off, going about my life, unaware of her existence?" answered itself. No, no, a million times, no. If I could bring her back, or take away the pain her family still feels, the pain I still feel, I would. But going on without her pales in comparison to the emptiness so many would have felt had she not been there at all. It was worth it.

And so it goes with love. To give yourself to another, to allow your stuff, your body, your mind, your heart--your very EXISTENCE to become intertwined with theirs, invariably raises the stakes. The risk loving another carries is huge. Tomorrow, or 60 years from now, you will lose them, and it will hurt. But the reward is so sweet, and so much greater than the hurt. You will, without fail, look back on the choice to love and know it was the right one.

And so worth it.

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