When did you first recognize that your spouse was actually the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with?
Was it instantaneous? Or was it a process?
When did your heart open? When did you recognize that, finally, finally, this was the one?
I know you are busy. So am I. But. Making the time to stir this particular pot is worth our time.
Fr. Sean Kilcawley was the one that brought this to my attention; I was at the Night of Romance several weeks ago and he encouraged us married couples to spend time reflecting on our “at last” story.
“At last! Bone of my bone! Flesh of my flesh! THIS ONE!”
I looked at my husband of 32 ½ years. And I smiled just thinking of those early memories.
I first met Russ while standing in line for lunch at a college retreat. That was certainly not my “at last” moment. That was more a, ‘Hi, I’m Lori and I’m hungry” moment.
I was also still sort of dating a boyfriend from high school so I wasn’t exactly looking for another.
Then, two months later, I was among the college students from the Newman Center from the University of Lincoln who went to South Padre Island over Christmas break. (As I left to go spend a week on the beach, my sort-of-boyfriend told me, “Have fun, but not too much fun.”)
Russ Doerneman was one of the students that went on the trip. I didn’t really notice him at first but pretty soon I could tell he was noticing me.
After spending several days together, eating brunch, playing games on the beach, going on rosary walks, celebrating happy hour (for hours) and dancing at night, I was intrigued by the guy.
Then. I had a string of little “at last” moments.
Then. During a skit he had his shirt pulled up. And…..drum roll...he had a hairy chest. Yep. That was one of my moments. I don’t love OVERLY hairy chests, I just love nicely hairy chests. Like Russ had.
My eyes, as they say, were opened.
Then, on the last night of our trip, we took a long walk on the beach and he kissed me. Under the moon, with the waves crashing all around. It was insanely romantic.
And I knew, at last, that I had found my man.
When I got back to Nebraska I didn’t contact my on-again, off-again boyfriend. He finally called me and said, “You had too much fun, didn’t you?”
I simply told him, “I met the man I’m going to marry.”
What did I like about Russ? Well, he was kind. And funny. When we were together it felt like home. We talked about anything and everything.
It didn’t hurt that he was super smart and was studying to be an engineer. (Yes, my mind envisioned all of our little engineering babies with their daddy’s genius brain.)
But there were still hills and valleys in those first months. I wasn’t sure what God truly wanted of me. I had been discerning religious life and had started looking into convents.
That certainly put a curve ball in our tender, new relationship.
Why did I give up on the convent? Well, Russ kept kissing me. That about sums it up.
We kept spending more and more time together, growing closer and closer.
But then we had our biggest AT LAST MOMENT. I can remember everything about it. We were sitting on a threadbare couch in my sister’s apartment on “D” street in Lincoln, Nebraska.
That was the place where Russ and I entrusted our deepest selves with each other. We shared those things that we held super close. We shared everything.
It was then that I knew.
That was my AT LAST moment. Why was that the moment? Well, we had given and trusted in a way that I had never experienced before.
It’s important to get this: we think sharing our most challenging struggle will be our worst moment. And that may be true if we share our struggle with the wrong person. But when we share it with the right person?
When our story is met with compassion and empathy? Well, shame cannot survive and something else glorious happens.
That moment, according to Brene Brown, is actually the BIRTHPLACE of real connection. That’s what happened to me on a couch on “D” Street.
I saw Russ. He saw me. And my heart said, “At last, bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh!”
I knew I was ALL IN. FOREVER.
Okay, now that I’ve stirred this particular pot, Lori is feeling all smushy inside.
Yep, definitely worth the time.
So, what about you? When did you know? Did you have a string of “at last moments?” Or was it one big zinger?
If you are up to it, make a date with your man. No need to stress, keep it simple. Open a bottle of wine once the kids are all tucked into bed. Or grab a cup of coffee early Saturday morning.
And share your AT LAST moments with each other. If you are a writer, write him a long mushy love letter. Tell him your AT LAST moment. Tell him why you fell in love with him.
Heck, text the man.
He will respond, trust me.
Then, go one more step.
Together, share those moments with your children.
Why is this important?
Well, to be honest, without your AT LAST MOMENTS, your kiddos would not exist! Yep, your “at last” moments are absolutely essential...to THEM!
Kids love to know that their parents are in love. They love knowing your story. Now tell them the truth. Your story is the beginning of their story.
So share it.
Then live it. Every day.
The world needs your love story.
P.S. Are you new here? Want more? Here’s a recent post on married love: Bringing New Life to Your Marriage.