That man of mine. Wow. I told him all the time- you are spoiling me. And I meant it. Because he did.
Every girl dreams of the guy that calls her, comforts her, tells her he loves her, rubs her feet, kisses her forehead, hugs her for no reason, and is her best friend.
I had that.
He spoiled me. He didn't buy me fancy things, or try to woo me with incredible tails of triumph. He just loved me. That's all he did.
I remember when I very first let myself realize that he loved me. I tried so hard to push him away, because I didn't want to get hurt, and I didn't want to hurt him. I remember when it finally slapped me in the face that he loved me, and that I loved him too.
Just a few weeks after we started dating, I had to go to Nashville for a meeting with Toastmasters in January. (January is normally cold here.) He wanted to go along. He said that he had some stuff to do while I was in my meeting. He was going to go to the Harley store and Costco. While I was in my meeting for four hours that day, he did just that. He went to the Harley store, and found himself a hat, I think. Then, he went to Costco. He bought soda, some printer paper, a wireless mouse, and dog treats. Then, he came and picked me up. My car, which I had pretty much only to get me from A-B, was spotless. He had thrown away the garbage in the back seat, vaccuumed up the dog hair (and I am sure french fries) in it, cleaned the windows, changed the wipers, cleaned the wheels, cleaned and treated the leather, gotten out many of the stains in the carpet, not to mention the goo that was in the cupholders, and sprayed air freshener.
I got in the car that day, in my car, my 1999 Honda with nearly 200,000 miles on it, and felt like I had a brand new car. I knew that he loved me right then. I was shocked. How on earth did this man do that- for me? I could say, and definitely argue the point that my vehicle was that nasty. It was- especially by his standards. But he put so much work in to it. He loved me. I realized it then, and it made me a little scared. I was afraid to say it just yet.
Then, I find out about his shopping ventures. He wanted to get me something at the Harley store, but wasn't really sure what I was 'in to' just yet. He got me a wireless mouse, because he couldn't believe that I was still using one with a cord. He bought some printer paper, because he realized that I was low, and he got me some pop, as he noticed that I drank it. Then, he got my dog treats, because he loved her.
Oh my gosh. This man loves me.
And that is how our relationship was. We loved each other. We didn't try to show our love with material things, but rather with actions and words. He called me on his way home from work, every day, even though I was going to see him in 15 minutse. We were kind to each other. We cared about each other. We simply asked how each other's day was. In fact, it was so easy.
I had what every girl dreams of. I didn't take advantage of it, and I know how blessed I am that I had it. And now, it is gone. I remember it so vividly, but ultimately, it is gone, and I am alone.
And now, I have to somehow be that girl that thinks that I want or deserve that again. With the extra "baggage" of widowhood, and now single motherhood, it is difficult to think that I am desireable to anyone, let alone someone who deserves the same treatment. After all, no one will EVER be Matt. My life is who I am, and because of my life, I know that I deserve to live and have the same life that Matt would have provided to me- to us. If I settle for less, then he taught me nothing.
It is difficult, and I suppose it is going to be a fine line- not comparing everyone I meet to Matt. How fair is that? And, he has left a huge imprint on my life that will be very difficult for anyone to live up to. I know- I have tried. Is that fair? Is that wise?
I suppose I want someone in my life who can accept me for me. I want someone in my life who can accept me for my life and love with and of Matt. I want someone who can accept me for my life and love with and of Gabriel. And, if that is not in the picture, then I suppose that I am not where I am supposed to be. I can't be with someone who expects me to block, hide or pretend that this side of my life doesn't exist.
Matt could get me through anything. I could find out I was dying, and he would take me through it, and we would find a way to laugh; he was and still is, my strength. On top of everything else, this has to be there. On top of all of this, there have only been a few, very few, men who I fully trust to be able to hold me up when I am breaking down. (It's easier, but different, with women.) None of these men are men who I would date, as they are either family, or might as well be family. These few are the only ones who I have felt that I could completely show them the raw side of me, and be able to break down if I need to. Other men, I still feel guarded, and I can still feel that it is not a completely safe place to be able to completely break down, even if they have been close to me all my life. And only once, man or woman, have I completely broken down, and my brother Jason was there to help me with the pieces. There have been other times when it has been really, really close, and April, Paige, Trina and Reisa have all been there for those, but only once was it really all I could handle.
I want someone in my life who will treat Gabriel, Lily and I exactly the way that Matt would have treated us. I want someone who will care for and love us like I know that Matt would care for and love us. I want someone who will care about and love Matt like we do. And I need a strength, because I can't always do it alone.
I know its a lot to ask, but I will not settle for anything less.
Am I ready to date? I think the more appropriate answer at this point is that I am sick of being lonely, and loneliness doesn't go away because someone else comes in to the picture.
And then, I thought about it, and had to come back and edit this, as it just seemed so selfish.
Of course I want all that. Honestly, I just want him, but I know now that I can't have that any more.
With that being said, I will also provide everything that I gave to him, to Matt, to a new person in my life. No one deserves less than the best. And I think it is only fair.
Every relationship is going to start out with some cautions, I suppose. It is going to start out with awkwardness, and with some taking time to getting to know one another. Matt and I took it, although it was pretty evident from the beginning where our relationship was quickly headed.
It is only fair that I give my best to someone if I expect their best. So, I will do that.
I suppose I would be just as lonely if I couldn't give the same back in return.
Its good that I have had this epiphany. I am glad that Matt "talks" to me, and is still my strength.