English fails to define love correctly. I have heard there are languages (eskimo I think) that have names for all the different types of love. The love of a brother, the love of a close friend, the love of a child, and then there is this love. The love that grows through your chest the way a weed comes up through the concrete and cracks it open.
I love my daughter with all my heart, but it's a different love than that romantic love you feel for a woman.
I've loved 3 women in my life in this way with two honerable mentions.
Rachel was my first love. She was the first person I wanted to spend my life with. I was 17, living in the Warden Plaza in Fort Dodge and I told her I wanted to marry her. I bought her a ring. She was all in, until she wasn't. We had a wild relationship and she was all types of fun. We drank, we got stoned, we did coke, we would lock ourselves in my apartment and have sex all weekend with the occasional Pizza break. When things were good she was amazing, when things were bad I wanted to throw myself out my window on the 8th floor. She left me for Jeff who she had been seeing before me, when Jeff and I had it out I screamed at him "She wasn't your fiancee" and he screamed back with tears in his eyes and said "Yes she was" and that was when I realized he and I had the same relationship with her. She left me for Jeff because her mom put her in rehab for the drugs her and I had been doing together and they told her in rehab that I was part of the problem and she believed them and I had no defense.
I started writing her a song when we broke up but never finished it. I thought about that song today for the first time in over 20 years, the lyrics went:
I can't promise not to hurt you,
but I promise I'll be true,
I promise that I'll tell you everything I feel,
and that I'll never lie to you.
I know I see you hurting,
can't you see I'm hurting to,
but if you could give me another chance,
I'd give everything to you.
It's funny, how these words still feel right today for both Rachel and Lyndsay, maybe I'll finish the song once I'm back up to speed on guitar.
Intellectually, I know Rachel was poison, but if she showed up on my door step today, 28 years after she aborted my first child I'd have a hard time not taking her back.
The second woman I loved was my first wife, the mother of my daughter. I proposed to her over and over for 5 years, when she finally married me it was because she was pregnant with my child and she required me to prove my love with a $15k ring. Again, the relationship was chaos, when it was good it was amazing, when it was bad she was throwing knives at my head. I was sure that with my love I could take anything she could throw. She could hit me, I could take it. She could throw things at me, I could take it, she could have done anything to me she wanted to because my love could stand it. But, when she turned that same rage on our child I had to make the hardest choice of my entire life, I had to choose between my child's safety and the woman I loved. I felt I had an obligation to my child to make sure she was safe and we were done. It hurt so bad, and I nearly took her back many times. I still wish to this day we could have worked it out, I still wish for the times we were together and it was good. But again, she was poison, but my heart doesn't understand this.
Along the path there where two honerable mentions, these are women that I still look back on and think "what if", both of those women are on my fb friends list now, and are likely to read this. I don't know if they know how often I wonder about the road not taken with them. The first felt like an infatuation at the time and very child like, she is the only one I ever did that goofy "I love you more" contest thing that some couples do. The other one lives across the ocean. Both have happy lives with children now and husbands that love them and I'm glad they are happy but that doesn't stop me from wondering about how they might have made me happy.
And then there is Lyndsay, my perspective on our relationship is way too fresh to define it with clairity, but I feel those same feelings physically in the middle of my chest. That feeling that tells me that if Rachel or even Jessica showed up in my life and wanted to give it another go I'd try, because, well, my daughter is grown and not at risk anymore. It's irrational, it's wrong, but it's at my core and I hate myself for feeling it, but I love her. Yes, it probably means I'm broken that the women I love seem to be bad for me, but yet, here they are.
I find it interesting that the two who passed me bye were both healthy and ended up happy without me.
What does that say about me?