By the time she was 13 years old, she experienced multiple acts of sexual abuse and harassment, loss of family members, infidelity and a whole lot of other dysfunction and grief. Then one night she was standing in her parents kitchen and this beautiful boy looked deep into her soul and kissed her. In that one moment she was rescued.
Over the years he continued to rescue her. In the moments when she was lost, scared, didn’t feel good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or lovable enough. Through motherhood, infidelity, the best of times and the worse of times. The boy filled her with validation and affirmation. In her own emptiness, he reminded her that she was perfectly capable of all she had dreamed. He rescued her over and over again, and he loved to do it. But then the 13 year old girl didn’t need the 16 year old boy to save her anymore. She had to learn save herself.
Twenty some years later they found themselves in this very dark place. The 16 year old became a lost boy. Out of her own fear the 13 year old girl wouldn’t let him go. She was afraid of all that he would be giving up and missing out on, because they had created a beautiful life together. Even in his despair his soul continued to make space for her, so that she could see that she was able to rescue herself and live a life full of joy and abundance.
The 13 year old girl spoke to the boys bruised soul and wanted him to know that while she is no more, the 40 year old woman he married is more than capable of giving him unconditional love, respect and support. All the time she was looking for connection with him, what she really needed was connection with herself. He made it easy for her because as long as she had him by her side, she didn’t have to find her self.
Now she must return the favor. While the 13 year old version is no more, her fierce love has grown deeper than she thought possible. Her loyalty for him is stronger than ever. The vows she committed to him, in sickness and health, for better or worse, ring truer than the day they married. In the depths of his depression, she is better than ever showing what true love really looks like.
She shows up to each new day, uncertain of what the day holds. How she will get through the day and how many times tears will fall from her eyes. Though he can’t return the love, right now, she knows it’s still there buried underneath all of the years and layers of bullshit, grief and shame.
Some people, hell, most people would have bailed by now. They would have left years ago. Maybe they are right and this hopeless romantic is delusional and not connected to herself at all. On the other hand, what if she’s right? What if on the other side of the storm is pure bliss.
What if on the other side of this grief when the 13 and 16 year olds know that they have served their purpose and the 41 & 44 year old souls come back to find each other again. To know a love like that is such a beautiful gift. Instead of saving each other they gave themselves safe space and support to connect with themselves so they could give each other the very best of themselves.
Time will tell how the rest of the story begins. Until then, she will love him by saying goodbye to her 13 year old. She will continue to learn to connect with herself and remind his soul that she believes in him and that she loves him more today than she did all those years ago. Right now, in his shadow days. She holds space for him like his soul has been doing for her all long. Maybe the 16 year old boy will finally be able to see that it’s ok to grow up, face his fears and that as he learns to connect to himself, all the riches in the world await him, accept him and love him deeper than he could ever know.
Goodbye 13 hello the rest of my life.