Long ago, back in the 20th century in England, there lived a young man. He was a very special young fellow, born during the tumultuous times of World War 2, very wanted, very much loved by both his parents. He grew up slowly as kids did back then, going to school, helping mom and dad with their vegetable garden, allowing his kid sister to tag along with him, and lots and lots and lots of kicking a soccer ball around. As he reached his teens, he began to wonder what life would be like outside his smallish world. Life in those days in England meant all your family was very close by, your world was for the most part, a five-mile radius from your home. That’s just the way it was back then. Yet this young man had dreams of “breaking free” from the boundaries that most young folks, even in the `60’s, simply had no desire to bend. He dreamed of going to university, but that plan wasn’t supported by his working class parents, who pretty much thought the only education you needed beyond the basic, was a good job or an apprenticeship by the time you were 17. He also dreamed of one day playing professional soccer for any of the English Premiership teams, but especially for his beloved Wolverhampton Wanderers. This kid was good with the ball, and several pro scouts noticed! But alas, a knee injury put a quick end to those dreams. Yet the idea to loosen the ties that
England held – and see other parts of the world – remained. He thought long and hard about
Australia, New Zealand, and finally, Canada. In early 1972 he realized this long held goal, and moved to the west coast of Canada, where he settled into “North American Life” happily. He even went to college and got a degree. He bought a home, raised a family, and declared he had no reason to ever live in England again.
On another continent, but a few years later, a young girl was born to mid-life parents who had two sons and were thrilled, albeit late, to have a daughter. She was actually a very lucky little girl, surrounded by a loving family. She grew and grew in her small-town-American life… doing all the things young girls of that time enjoyed. Dolls and baby buggies, mud pies, swings, piano lessons, helping mom with baking cookies, riding her bike, books, Sunday School, and going with Dad to all sorts of sporting events. She did well in school, went to her Junior-Senior Prom, and planned her career. She finished her degree, got a job, bought a house, and raised a family.
Fast forward 20+ years. The young man from
England and the young girl from small-town-America no longer fit the description of “young”. Middle aged was more like it. They both had lived through their share of heartbreak and disappointment. Even though the Englishman and the American Girl believed in the institute of marriage, and took it very seriously, they found themselves no longer connected to the person they had expected to go through life with. They each experienced different circumstances that led to the same unfortunate end – a permanent fissure in those first relationships. Despite being raised on different continents and in somewhat different times, these two had similar beliefs and ideals towards love, marriage, and relationships. And then one day, call it chance, call it fate, call it an act of God, the Englishman met the American girl. Guess we should refer to her as the American Woman now. Their kids were raised, their careers secure, but there was an empty space in both of their hearts. They were waiting for Love, that special, exceptional Love, which they both hoped they might find someday. As if in a dream, Love came again. Love filled and overflowed that empty space. She loved his smile, his British humour, his patience, his accent J. He loved her eyes, her devotion, her understanding of his British humour, and believe it or not, her interest in sports. Is it too much of a cliché to use the phrase, “a match made in heaven”? Because for them, that’s what it was. What it is.
Yes, I’m the American Woman… and I am SO happily married to my Englishman. I truly thank God every day for him, but I think a little bit more about it all – the miracle of our love – at Valentine’s Day.
Wishing everyone the happiest Valentine’s Day ever, abounding with LOVE.