Soul mates. They’ve been the talk of story books for as long as there has been written word. It’s always the same in those stories. Two star-crossed lovers that meet and some how magically fall in love. It’s always the same. For awhile I believed that I too would have a soul mate. Just like Tristan and Isolde or Romeo and Juliet, I too would be someone’s star-crossed lover. Why? Because that’s how it’s been written and that’s what I believed.
That is until I met my husband.
I love my husband. I just feel like that should be the first thing said in all of this. I love him more than words can describe or my body can handle. Our love is true, binding and every-lasting. But… I know you are waiting for the “but”. He doesn’t love me unconditionally. His eyes aren’t hidden behind some cheap rose-covered glasses. He understands that I am a flawed, crazy, overly demanding woman. He’s my partner in marriage, life and raising our children. He helps my emotionally stunted self by making sure that I know I am loved and needed. But as wonderful as he is and as much as I need him in my life, he is not my soul mate.
At this point you’re probably wondering who could possible be my soul mate. My husband sure does sound like a man capable of being tethered to my soul for all eternity. He could easily be everything that Juliet must have been thinking of when she first met Romeo. But when I first met my husband I knew he was not my soul mate.
In face when I first met my husband, I realized after just a few short months, that I would marry him and spend the rest of my life with him. No other person would ever do. Thus we were married six months from the day that we started dating. A year later we had our daughter. But it was when I discovered how much I loved him that it was a different kind of love. It was a partnership of two equal participants. Not a soul crushing love that was the combination of one soul melding into another. It was not a love of two becoming one. It was a love that was loved separately. How did I know that? How could I possibly tell the difference between the love I have for my husband and the love I have for a soul mate?
Simply, because I had already had that love.
When I was brought into this world I had only one person who truly understood me. I know that might sound pubescent and overly dramatic. But she cared for me when no one else could or would. She encouraged and supported every dream, notion or idea I could ever think of. She made magic come alive. She was my rock, my champion and my soul mate. She was there before I had my wonderful adoptive Mother.
She was my Grandmother.
After she passed away, I felt like an entire half of me went with her. It has taken me so long to accept that she wasn’t here anymore, that our late night conversations were now obsolete. For awhile I thought that meant that I had to keep those conversations, dreams and emotions to my self. I felt, that without her, I wouldn’t be able to move forward. But then, over time, the people around me seemed to take on different aspects of her. They filled the roles she occupied solely for so long. It allowed me to rediscover myself as an independent person and woman. But still, even just a few short years later, my heart still stings and my soul still feels empty. I am going to end my life to be with her or something just a ridiculous. I am just saying that some days are harder than others and for me, I guess that is how death is. A shadow that falls over you, that covers you in its shroud and never truly leaves you.
Death stains you like that.
At times I feel like she is here. Whispering to my husband on how to make me so happy I can’t hardly contain it sometimes. Or she drifts in and out of our daughter in her laugh or the way she looks at me sometimes. I see her here and there. I see her in my Ice Tea and the nick knacks that line my home. I see her reflection in my cousins. I see the mark she left on them, just like she left on me. She is the constant reminder that I was loved so deeply and unconditionally that I now too have that capable love within me. And for that I will forever be grateful.