My husband and I share that Noah and Allie, Notebook kind of love; that heart sickening, grab at the sheets, soul on fire, make me crazy kind of love.

It frightens me how deep and potent that love is.

He’s away this week, in sunny San Diego. On the ocean, at Hotel del Coronado and then he’s off to Texas to see a sister. Actually, it is thoughts of her that have me wistful and longing today. You see, she lost her husband suddenly only four short months ago, and while she is a woman of control and intellect, I know he held her heart for nearly forty years. The loss must be suffocating.

I’ve seen this loss before. My own mother, at my age, buried my father and grieved immensely – and I suspect in a way, still does. The thought of their grief makes me draw in my breath and hold it with empathy. She is living through her grief, and I can only imagine the depths of her private pain.

My heart has never been more full of love for my husband. Granted there are days that he makes me boil with unnameable frustration. His standards and expectations are high for himself, as well as others. He is rigid with responsibility and self-discipline. He is an oak with resolve and will carry a grudge longer than most. (Although I wish he wouldn’t. Only he will pay the price for that load.)

He is my trigger, my greatest teacher, as Byron Katie would say. He’s taught me so much about love and relationships, and myself, and parenting, and people and generosity. He loved me unconditionally before I could love myself, period. He is my soul mate. No two ways about it. And I am so thankful God knew to bring us together. He is my dearest friend. The one who holds my heart in his grasp.

He’s been out of the country less than 36 hours and I’m standing in the closet smelling the last shirt he wore. Imagining my head on his chest. I can almost feel him there. Only 8 more sleeps until he comes home to me. God willing.

My heart hurts for his sister.

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