My March Madness
March 8, 1985, just over 34 years ago. I began a relationship. I had no idea what the future had in store for us. At the young age of barely 22 I didn’t know it at the time, but I had met my soulmate. We had known each other for about 6 months. We met at work. One night after work we were having dinner & drinks with coworkers. I had been with the company for a few years, Brenda, for just a few weeks. In-between the group babble, we spent the evening chatting and getting to know each other. Laughter and conversation came easy. We decided that we needed to go out for drinks without the crowd and continue our conversations. Before the scheduled time, several of our coworkers felt it necessary to dip in my Kool-Aid. They felt it was their duty to, in hushed tones inform Brenda that I was... (dare I say!?)
This was not news to her!
We went to a little dive on the South Side of Chicago... it was dark, with good music and reasonably priced drinks to quench our thirsts. None of that mattered. It was the connection we craved. We talked for hours. About what, so much time has passed that I now have no idea. I just remember the feeling. The feeling of kindred spirits once separated now reunited. Needing nothing more than to reacquaint ourselves. To confirm that lifetime after lifetime we always find each other.
A few days later we were inseparable during our free time. But we weren’t alone. Brenda was just half of the package deal I signed up for. The other half was an awesome 4-year-old little girl. This kid managed to challenge all my cool points! Thankfully she was an easy kid to love. As a little one she never wanted much. Beyond food & shelter she mainly wanted to love and know she was loved in return… to have someone to play with and her little toy piano (which I think is still in my basement) – she forbade us to throw it away. She gets noticeably hostile if we attempt to get rid of it!
I suppose our relationship started out like many do. We both dropped off the face of the earth for about 6 months. During this time, we only had time for each other. My standing Thursday through Saturday nights at the bar, followed by Sundays filled with bike riding, football, softball or just chillin at Belmont Rocks were no longer priority appointments. When I did venture out in public, I had to endure interrogations from concerned dare I say confused friends. “Where you at?”, “Where you been?”, “Whatcha doin?”, “Brenda who??”, “You lying! Ain’t nobody named Brenda…How come we haven’t met her?”. They eventually did meet her. After giving each of us the appropriate amount of shit… they acknowledged that she was in fact real and they decided I could keep her. Their approval was something like “Ahh-ite, she cool.”.
Whew! Glad she passed those tests!
My tests weren’t nearly as crazy… It was being accepted by her family. There were never any active attempts on my part to “win them over”. My tests were also self-imposed. I just always wondered what they knew, how they felt about us, about me. Brenda offered no help answering my queries. Brenda being Brenda… didn’t give a damn. Her life, her choices. Our life, our choices. Over the years a few signs/events let me know I passed whatever tests I felt were necessary.
Me – (sleepily) Absolutely not!
Kid – (with genuine curiosity) Well then, who are you?
Me – (repressing panic, trying desperately to wake up) Who do you want me to be?
Kid – (after 30 long seconds of serious contemplation) I want to you be my Kimi!
Me – (Relieved, but accepting the loss of cool points, no one called me “Kimi”) You got it kiddo.
Brenda – (on the other side of the bed quietly but unmistakably) Snickering
I guess I passed all those tests… she kept me!
Since those times life has continued as life frequently does. There have been ups and downs. Awesome times and some, not so awesome. No matter the celebration or ordeal we’ve faced it together. Even though we meet some challenges alone, we are strengthened in the knowledge that the love, the support, the spirit of the other has been right there, standing by our side. We know that when we come home, the hand we need to hold, the shoulder to cry on, the body to embrace or the quiet smile we need to behold is waiting to do just that.
I often experience feelings of duality throughout this relationship. Ours is nothing special and at the same time it is the bright star that guides me through this life. In one moment, I have trouble grasping just how long we have been together. I have only to look at our 17 & 15-year-old grandchildren and the ever-increasing gray hair in my head to be reminded. In the next moment, I know that our years together are just a blink in time, and I ask the universe to use the best in us to inspire and the worst in us to teach.
So, this year as I reflect on our beginnings. I acknowledge that we had no idea where we were headed when we consciously realized that, we were a thing. I can say I think our souls knew this journey could only unfold if we were together. They knew because they’ve always known. I’m forever grateful for the wisdom of our souls who saw fit to seek each other out. I look forward to the remainder of this journey, we have much left to do, to see and to become. So, I gladly take the next step into the “Unknown” or into the living room (life is not always exciting). I believe all souls travel in familiar spiritual circles and that one day, after much time has passed and this journey has ended, one of our souls will glance across a crowded room and recognize the other. Let the journey begin!
3/30/2019 06:47:31 pm
I’m the 15 year old😁
Kim C Wells
3/30/2019 08:43:07 pm
thank you grandson!
3/30/2019 10:41:43 pm
Love this blog!! Pure honesty and straight from the heart !!!
3/31/2019 01:59:44 pm
I just love this story and HONESTLY thanks so sharing ....Isnt LIFE GOOD!!! Contiune to enoy!!!!
4/1/2019 02:23:24 pm
Thank you for sharing your beautiful story.. hearing of your journey and the excitement of the unforeseen blessing to come! Look forward to reading more
4/1/2019 06:34:29 pm
Nothing makes me weepy like a true love story ❤️❤️
4/1/2019 09:34:52 pm
Love reading about your love story! It reminds me a lot of how my husband and I started off too. Love your authenticity and realness!
4/3/2019 03:11:11 pm
Love this, love you guys! Gives me hope that even at 62, one day, across a crowded room, I'll have my enchanted evening. It's never too late to start a love story!
4/7/2019 03:27:09 pm
I love you and you'll always be part of the Gray family. Both my aunts are so insightful and thoughtful ❤❤❤thanks for sharing.
4/8/2019 04:59:20 pm
I'm the cool sister, the short 6'3 one that loves you all just the way you are. Loving you all daily.
4/10/2019 09:38:16 pm
Thank you for sharing this beautiful story :)
4/13/2019 09:40:37 am
OMGoodness! What a lovely story! I am a true suck for a Love Story and yours is beautiful! Gave me the goosebumps for sure!
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Kim C Wells
Expressing myself through written word. Hoping to evoke emotions, invoke thoughts and actions.
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