It was Valentine’s Day 1977. I remember some of his words. “The seeds of love have been planted….” is how it started and ended with a marriage proposal. I don’t remember the specifics after the first few words because I was thinking how corny it sounded. I was scared. I was uncomfortable with love.
What does a 19-year-old know of love, romantic love, when she can’t recall seeing her parents show affection. The one time I remember seeing my dad come from behind to give my mom a hug while she was cooking her faced showed some kind of delight but she wriggled away as if she were uncomfortable. I must have been about 12. I don’t remember seeing them hold hands or share looks. Maybe it was there. Children don’t often pay attention to that. But I don’t think so.
Daddy was always free with hugs for me. Not an issue but he became very fearful as I got older and started dating. His discomfort with my maturity was noticeable. They were divorced by then. He was vigilant in setting strict curfews and not allowing me to go to things like dances. (Boys and who knows what else?)
How does one know how to be loved when love was about fear?
I see it now but I didn’t when I stood there as Henry was talking to me from his heart. I don’t know if he has any idea how nervous I was. Even now. Though scared, I said yes. It was something between me and God. And I said yes.
I have been learning about love ever since. Not always a good student. Moments of awkward discomfort have crept in during the learning. Trust had to be given; patience his gift to me. Learning together. This is the way of love.