Isn’t it amazing how in a world of billions of people one individual can make an irreplaceable impact in every aspect of our life? A chance encounter…a slow growing friendship…a co-worker who becomes a best friend…a neighbor who is somehow nonpareil…a spouse you depend on for not just companionship but for self acceptance…a child you never knew you could love so much…a stranger one day and a lover the next…

Every day we have opportunities to meet others. Some will strike us as odd, uninteresting, or barely register as we move on to something else. Then there are those that we instantaneously recognize as our kindred spirit. We meet, our eyes and souls connect and our lives are altered forever. Maybe they will stay around for a while, or maybe they are put in place for just the amount of time needed.

Jim was put in my life magically. There was something about him that called to me and grasped my heart for all of eternity. Once I met him, looked into his beautiful blue eyes and felt the connection, I was unable to release myself from his stronghold over me. And what makes all of this even better? He felt the same. He loved me. He saw me and smiled because he saw his happiness and his future. He loved all of me, not just the façade. And he made me feel his love for me, which is a special kind of talent by itself. We became each others champion and through years of ups, downs, forwards and back, our commitment to each other stuck.

There were times I took from him more and obviously, times he was on the receiving end. That is a chance we all take when we open ourselves up to love. We also take a chance that pain and hurt will follow. It usually does in one way or another. But what a life Jim left me. He showed me how rich a relationship can be. He showed me what patience looks like. He allowed me to flourish as he was withering. Jim led by example, including his role as a parent. His ways of living the life we should all strive for set the tone for our family. He left me the two greatest gifts: Frances and Brad. Their presence often made our journey more difficult, yet simultaneously they have given me strength, purpose and courage I never knew I possessed. They have forced me to keep living when I have wanted to stop breathing, just as Jim did.

How could I have foreseen Jim would have the impact on my life, my world, me very essence all of those years ago when I first spoke to him? When I agreed to become his girlfriend? That sounds so trivial, so naïve compared to where our journey took us. Isn’t that how all relationships begin? So innocently and without a clue.

I miss Jim. I miss his comfort. How can one person determine our fate? Our smiles and our tears? Even after witnessing his suffering, how could I miss his presence? He was the one for me. The one who impacted my world unlike any other. The one who set up my destiny, I just always thought he would be next to me a little longer to cheer me on and guide me in only the way he could.

We all have those people. The ones who stick with us, even if we have only recently met them. Or maybe we have known them years and finally see their worth. Relationships are so fickle, so fluid and unpredictable. Even if you think you know, you ultimately don’t. Life has a way of making sure we are reminded how we are not the ones in control.

Yes, out of billions of people in the world, we meet and connect with that one single person who changes the course of our thoughts. They change our mentality and our ability to function separately. They provide you with ammunition to rescue yourself or do yourself in. They can break you or lift you higher than you ever thought possible. They can look past faults and blunder and see something no one else can. They can shift your world like nothing else can. It is a mystery only the heart knows the answer to.

And at the same time, we ultimately are still on our own. We are responsible for our own happiness, our own successes and our own inner-strength. It is up to us to learn to utilize the gifts bestowed upon us from those we are so enraptured by and simultaneously remain our own sustenance. It isn’t easy, but being our own savior and our own strength will be what saves us all in the end.

2 thoughts on “One in a Billion

  • Carol

    I am still caring for my precious husband at home. It has been 8 years and soon to begin 9.
    What a precious post. I feel the same about my own dear husband. I still see the young man I married 51 years ago.

  • Pat Farnham

    So true that in this big world we meet that one man in a million who makes us feel special and loved. We were married for 57 years, but not long enough. I was able to be his caregiver throughout his journey of dementia/Alz. I will always love him. He was my first love and I was his last. Forever in my heart.

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