I was inspired to write this post while I was making a comment on one of Lilly's blog posts.
I’m going to tell you of the Love that made me the happiest girl in the world. I was seventeen. He was twenty. I had been working at a “Sari-Sari” store for a month when he and his older friend came by. He paid for his purchases and we exchanged sheepish smiles. I thought he was very handsome. At the time, I didn’t know what he thought of me or what he was thinking when he smiled at me. I was sure he smiled at me out of politenes and not because he thought I was pretty. Besides, he probably had lots of gorgeous girlfriends already. But for me, it was “Ooh! La! La!”
Up to that point, I had never considered myself attractive at all. Otherwise, I would have had boyfriends left and right, you know? But I didn’t. Oh, wait; there was a man who pursued me when I was sixteen and he was 24. But that didn’t count because, every time he came to the house, mother was there supervising and we were separated by this huge dining room table. No holding hands and absolutely, no kissing! It was a good thing, because I was not attracted to him at all. Not even a little bit. I was just being polite to him because mother told me not to give him any reason to disrespect me or to harm me. The very next day of my high school graduation, I rode a bus with my oldest sister’s niece (on her husband’s side) to go to the city and live with my sister, who now lives here in Cheyenne. I was sixteen years old. I snuck out of town, without informing the man that I was leaving. I was so relieved to get away from him.
Okay, back to the young man. The next time he came by, he smiled again and my heart fluttered. I told myself that if he kept doing that I was going to fall in love with him for sure. Well, the smiles kept happening, but that was all that was happening between us. By then I was definitely falling in love with him. I sensed that he was a very shy person, as I was also.
One day, after paying for his purchases, he went outside ahead of his friend. His friend told me that “his friend” outside likes me a lot. Well, you probably know exactly what was happening to me by then. Yep, you’re right. My heart jumped for joy. I felt really flattered. My heart was singing from that point on and never stopped until our next meeting. Of course, I thought about him the entire time, as well.
The next time he came by, I was going to talk to him more when he came to pay for his purchases. As I was thinking that, a very attractive young woman of about nineteen came into the store. She got what she needed, paid for it, and then left. When my prince came to pay for his purchases, I was about to engage him in a conversation with me when he asked me if I knew the woman who just left…and if I knew her name? It was a good thing that I didn’t tell him the things I wanted say that day. I’m sure you can imagine exactly what I was feeling after that. Yep, you’re right again. Boy, was I crushed! My heart stopped singing that very instant; I cursed myself for being duped into thinking that he liked me, just because of what his friend had told me.
He still came to the store after that, and we still smiled at each other. However, those very smiles that made my heart sing were now making me hurt inside. I wished that he wouldn’t come anymore, for seeing him pained me too much.
I don’t recall what I said when he asked me if he could take me out to lunch on Saturday. All I remember was that we went out to lunch on Saturday. (I was eighteen years old, by this time, when he got around to asking me to go out on a date.) He played some music on the jukebox as we ate. I was very happy, but tried not to expect too much. I tried to temper my excitement because of what had taken place before. I wasn’t going to let myself get duped again. I enjoyed myself. I wasn’t sure if he felt the same way because, after that, I didn’t see him for a long time. So I thought, well, perhaps he found me dull and boring. I was probably not his type.
A month or so later, he came to the store, telling me that he just came back from Korea. He again asked me out for a date. I said “yes” and soon found myself hopelessly in love. We went steady and dated seriously for two months before he received orders to be reassigned back in the U.S. He tried to extend his stay in the Philippines, but his request was denied. We were both disappointed. We parted ways without making any promises to each other.
I was shocked when six months after he left, I received a letter from him, asking me to marry him. He even wrote my mother a letter, asking permission for my hand in marriage. Well, that boyfriend of mine has been my loving husband for thirty-two years now, and counting.
Love is a battlefield. It cuts like a knife. It burns like hell. It turns your life upside down. It makes the world go ‘round. But all in all, Love is a many splendored thing.
In order for Love to survive, Love needs love. Love needs affection and tenderness. It needs respect and patience. It needs commitment and devotion. It needs laughter. It needs sunshine and nurturing. It needs forgiveness. It needs to be expressed and shown—through words and through actions.
For those of you whose hearts are seeking, this I can impart with you: Love is worth the pain and struggles. Just nurture it so that, in the end, you reap the sweet fruits of your labor. Go ahead; take the risks until you find your soul mate. Cupid is just around the corner. Good luck and best wishes.
Happy Valentines Day!