When I was a little girl, love was The Brady Bunch, The Partridge Family, and Father Knows Best. When I was a pre-teen love was Shirley Temple, Dorris Day, Dean Martin, Judy Garland, and Elvis on Sunday. When I was a teen-ager love was Judy Blume, Soul Train, and American Band Stand. When I was in High School love was sad and lonely; it was unrequited Bobby Balentine, and requited Bruce Hammer, until..... Until Jennifer Matthews became the first friend in a string of many to betray my trust, loyalty, friendship, and belief. And Bruce became the first love in a string of many to betray my trust, loyalty, friendship, belief and heart.
At almost-49 I look at the patterns of love in my life. Every boyfriend I have ever had has cheated on me with someone close to me, except one, who cheated on me with his own selfishness. It has cost me much in my life: a timely education, a potential for career to be fulfilled, a natural child birth.
At almost-49 I look at what I believe about love and realize the price I have refused to pay: I refuse to become jaded and have refused to pay with my belief that love is real. At almost-49 I continue to choose love; I continue to grow.
I still believe in the media and literary love, at almost-49. I still believe that my heart has a mate, somewhere. I believe in love, and love believes in me. My love is waiting for me to believe in me.
At almost-49 I believe I am a good friend, a good citizen, a good mother...I AM good. I'm not "trying" to be, I AM. I look at the patterns of love in my life and I see growth, and I see perseverance, and I wonder what more there is to learn. What is left to learn? Is it to "get real"? Maybe. And maybe reality is not something we discuss, or learn, but something we "know".
What is reality? Is it not trusting? Is it not believing? Is it guarding one's self from pain? Is reality that state in which one lowers expectations to what might be possible when all else seems impossible? It is not in my nature to expect less. I can not expect less loyalty, less honesty, less selfLESSness, of myself or of others. I cannot give up on others, I cannot give up on my self.
I must continue to learn...until I know, without thinking, that I AM love. I wonder how long I get to live when I know that I AM love? I can't yet imagine what other lesson there is to learn after that; they haven't made a Sunday Musical Movie or Sit-Com about it yet.... Or have they!?