All too often (like today), someone will comment or ask why I would willingly consider carrying on a relationship with someone who travels so much or lives so far away. I just smile and explain the insignificance of distance.
I guess I blame my strong beliefs in this reasoning on the fact that I was fortunate enough to have been a witness to one of the greatest love stories I’ve ever known. No, not the adventures of a duo of fictional characters wedged between the dog-eared pages of some classic novel. Rather the tale of one of my very own brothers…and his journey with love.
Clear as day, I remember my brother’s declaration for his now wife, of more than ten years. He was just a teenager, but his adoration for her was deeply-rooted. Where it began, I do not know. But we often laugh at how crazy it was to discover they actually were in the very same class together as young as kindergarten.
Time after time he would proclaim his love for her. And for me, just a kid, I couldn’t grasp what I was witnessing at the time…but over the years as I watched their relationship form into something absolutely phenomenal, I became a believer in the very fate that I now know is real.
I remember when our parents announced we would be leaving the crisp, comfort zone of our Steeler town and moving to the sun-kissed Wonderful World of Disney. I remember my brother was filled with disbelief. He couldn’t fathom leaving her…and all that distance…surely it would cause conflict. Or would it? I remember so many nights, sitting with my brother as he would write songs, playing the guitar, inspired by the very thought of her. I always felt so swept away by the realness of how he felt for her. He was never ashamed. He never cared what others would think. We are so similar in that way.
I recall the way he would write her letters, so many letters. To this very day, a huge box of letters she sent him back, sits in a drawer at my parents’ house. Year after year…through middle school, high school, even college…they kept in touch. Letters, phone calls, visits here and there…they remained far in distance but never in thought.
I knew I was watching something molded by the grip of destiny. It was inspiring. It triggered my belief in love at an early age. It confirmed to me that love, true love, has a course of its own…and we are simply at its mercy. Its path may lead us apart, away, or even into silence….but true love is guided by something for which we have no control.
Distance is a joke. Time is a joke.
Sure there were moments of struggle. Afterall, they each had the lives they were forced to live without one another on a day to day basis…but it wasn’t until college came to an end that it was, and rightfully so, a done deal.
And that is when happily ever after began. Every day apart was worth the very moment they would now be together. I’m telling you, this is why, when people refer to distance as the kiss of death to a relationship, I always kindly agree to disagree.
Because when you’ve seen a love story flourish and still going strong, despite what seemed to be a never-ending multitude of miles between two people, there is simply no other answer. There is no such thing as a coincidence. Life is a series of blessings linked together by the people we encounter.
Things like this allow you to believe in the power of fate…and you feel grateful to truly know that there really is something out there greater than each of us.