Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our Love Story by Marybeth Whalen

Ever fall out of love with writing? Ever put so much of your heart into your writing that it actually hurts? Marybeth Whalen shares her love story and reminds us that "anything in life worth having is worth working for" (to quote Andrew Carnegie). Have a Happy Valentine's Day! ~ Angie

My husband and I met when we were kids. Kids, I tell you. But we thought we were grown. Grown enough to make the kind of monumental life decision that transforms everything. And though our parents kindly warned us that this was a BIG DECISION, we were CRAZY IN LOVE and could not be deterred. So we got married the summer before our senior year of college, and prepared to live happily ever after.

But happily ever after was harder to come by than we thought. Obstacles started popping up almost immediately. We had to fight to get to the love part of our love story. It helped to remember it-- to remember how we felt about each other, that passion and desire that led us to make the crazy decision to get married. As children were born and debt mounted and demands were made on our time, we threatened to come apart. We had to remember the very fibers that held us together.

I had to remember that warm summer night on a front porch when the possibility of forever seemed so close I only had to reach for it.

I had to remember the moment when we agreed that our goals were the same-- family, children, faith, future.

I had to remember the cards he left me, the notes promising love I could depend on, the words that made me trust him with my future.

I had to remember the love of music we shared, a link forged in melody and harmony.

I had to remember the anxious proposal that was expected, yet surprising. The giddy announcement to friends. The ring on my left hand ring finger, sparkling as though it held all our hopes and promises in its facets.

I had to remember that summer we spent planning our wedding, swept away in our own whirlwind of whispered imaginings of this shared future.

I had to remember what it felt like to pick up the phone and hope it was him, the sound of his voice so different than any other voice that had ever spoken my name.

I had to remember what it felt like to look up and see him coming in the door, a novel thing.

I had to remember all these moments and more-- because what we had was threatening to become commonplace, expected, normal. I had to remember that our love story was special, as all love stories are.

Today maybe you need to remember your own love story-- first awkward conversations and butterflies in your stomach, uncertainties and hopes mixed together in one swirling, crazy time of life, the time that launched you from there to here. It's a time we can't go back to, except in our memories. But memory, as we all know around here, is a powerful thing. As powerful as a love story.

Put on the dress in which you were married
Pull down the veil til your eyes are hid
Can you remember where we both came from
Let us do as we did
- "Make Tomorrow" Peter Gabriel

Marybeth Whalen and her husband Curt have been married for 20 years. They look for their love story amidst the laundry, bills and chaos of a house with six children. Marybeth's new novel, The Guest Book, is a love story set in Sunset Beach, NC. It comes out this summer.

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