The definition of true love

She stands by his bed, watching his shallow breaths. She knows he is tired. He's lived a long, happy, life. They've lived a long, happy life together. He is her best friend. Her partner in life.

 They've been married for 67 years.

 For the past year, he's been unable to leave the bed they set up where his recliner used to sit. And she takes care of him, devoted now more than ever to the commitment they have made to each other. Some nights, he is awake all night long. On those nights, she stays awake with him.

 Sometimes they get grumpy with each other. Sometimes they hurt each others feelings. And throughout this hard year, one thing remains stronger now more than ever.

 Their love.

 Now she stands by his bed and watches him breathe. Her daughter is by her side.

 His breathing stops. Just for a few seconds.

 Her heart starts to break as she reaches for her daughter. This is so hard.

 And then he starts breathing again, unable to leave her just yet.

 True love.

 Forever.

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Bedtime routines

She tucks the boys in every night after we pray. Even the eleven year old still likes to be tucked in. The thought of that makes me smile to myself as I begin to pick up what used to be the living room. At this moment, it was a fort. Or was it an airplane? I’m not really sure.

I can hear her telling the seven year old good night as I scoot his little table back into its corner. It sounds like he’s trying to stall. He’s a master at stalling at bedtime.

After all of these months, I know her routine well. She says goodnight to the boys, kisses them and tells them to have sweet dreams, then she goes into the bathroom for a few minutes of quiet alone time. This gives me time to finish the living room so we can sit and watch TV for a while before bed.

Every time I help out with something around the house, she tells me that I don’t have to do it. I always say, “I know.” I want to help her. I see how hard she works to make a wonderful home for her boys and I want to help her. I want to show her how much I appreciate what she does. And if I’m being completely honest, moments like these are my favorite. This is exactly what I’ve always wanted and have never had. Moments like this make me happy because I can feel us becoming a family. I love that.

She walks out of the bathroom as I’m just settling down on the couch. The living room is back. The fort (or airplane) is put away. I can’t wait to see what they come up with tomorrow.

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I love me. I hope you love you too.

What defines happiness?

That’s like one of those questions that you think would be easy to answer, but sometimes, when you think about it, it’s as hard as the question, “What is the meaning of life?” Actually, when I think about THAT, they’re really kind of the same question. Sort of.

I used to think happiness came from things. Happiness came from buying a new car or my first big girl camera (which I never learned to use because developing film was expensive). Sometimes I felt like happiness came from going out and having (too much of) a good time with my friends. Whatever it took to make me feel happy, I did it. However, at the end of the day, when I was alone, I was unhappy.

I knew it was a problem. For many years, I chose to ignore it.

It could have very easily broke me. It almost did.

The turning point for me was discovering my true self. To be okay with my true self and to learn how to love my true self. Why is it so hard for people to love themselves? Having a great support system in your life is awesome and needed, but you should be your own biggest fan. I had to learn how to do that by accepting my sexuality. I had to like my sexuality. I had to love that part of me, which was a very hard thing to do considering I spent the majority of my adulthood hating that part of me.

Now, when I look in the mirror, I see a beautiful human being. I feel alive and like I’m finally living. I have a beautiful woman who loves me just as I am (including my tendency to become a bitch in big city traffic), and life is so good.

I see so many people on the internet (including some friends), who just aren’t happy. They are so hard on themselves and they truly don’t know how lovely they really are. I am sad for them. I wish I could show them but I know that can only come from within themselves. I pray that one day they find it within themselves.

Take a look in the mirror. Look deep within yourself and know you are beautiful. You’ll see life in a whole new way. I promise.

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To my love...

To my amazing, wonderful, funny, smart, and sexy girlfriend,

I know the exact moment that I knew I could fall in love with you. I know I’ve told you before. I also know you won’t mind me telling you again.

It was our second date. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited (and nervous) for a date. I picked you up at your house. I watched you walk up to my car. You looked beautiful. You got into my car, and the way you looked at me sent ripples through me. You smiled at me and said, “Hey!”

“Hey,” I smiled shyly back.

I looked down at my hands. You took my chin in your hand, turned my face to yours, and kissed me slowly and sweetly. It was as if you already cared about me deeply. My heart said, “I could fall in love with her.” My brain said, “April, you’re screwed.” My heart told my brain to shut up.

This weekend is our first anniversary. What an amazing year it has been. I feel like each day with you is an adventure. I feel like finally, for the first time in my life, I am living life and not just getting through life. I watch how you experience life every day. You live with such passion and enjoyment. You’ve taught me how to live the same way. Thank you so much for that.

I wasn’t sure I would ever find someone to spend my life with. I spent countless hours trying to convince myself that I would be okay with that. Honestly, I never was really Okay with it. It’s like my soul was inside of me twiddling its thumbs while my brain and heart fought over my opinions on love, then the very moment we met, time stopped and my soul said to yours, “There you are! Finally!”

My heart is so full of happiness and love that I’m quite positive that it will explode. I can’t believe how lucky I am to have such a wonderful person in my life. The love I feel for you and your boys is so amazing that it sometimes brings tears to my eyes. I thank God for bringing you to me.

Happy Anniversary, baby. I know our future years will be just as great. I love you so much.

Love,
April

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Lucky

I’m searching....I know I can find it. I’m quite certain that the cars that pass by the house are wondering what that crazy woman is doing walking in circles around the yard while looking at her feet.

I really don’t care what they think. I’m determined to find the perfect four-leaf clover....

According to the Old Wise One (a.k.a. Wikipedia), it’s good luck to find one. Especially if you find it while not looking for it. But this isn’t for me. It’s for my girlfriend. I thought it would be the perfect thing to give her on St. Patrick’s Day.

While searching, I think about this past year. What a great year it’s been. I can’t believe it’s been almost a year. We’ve made plans for our first anniversary. This year has been full of moments that take my breath away, and I’ve realized the famous quotation is right. Every kiss, every look, every time she touches my hand touches my heart and makes my breath catch.

I am so very lucky.

I bend over to get a closer look at a patch of clovers. I’ll stay out here all day if I have to....

Then, just as I think about searching for a four leaf clover all day, I see it. It’s perfect. It’s beautiful. Just like her.

I carefully pick it, walk into the house. She looks at me and smiles when I hand her the clover.

My heart leaps, and I say, “Happy St. Patrick’s Day.”

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Dear God, I'm gay...

I’ll never forget the first time I saw two girls kiss on TV. My body reacted to the kiss in a way that my brain didn’t understand. I wasn’t sure that I liked it. Accept that I knew that I liked it. At 21, I had never been on a date (I don’t count my prom date on account that my mom made me go with a boy I had never met before.), I had never been kissed, and I had very limited knowledge on what the word “gay” meant.

After freaking out for a bit on what it could mean that my body reacted in this way to two girls kissing, I decided that I liked the kiss because it was romantic and I was a sucker for romance. Then I decided to forget about it. (Except that I was so completely hooked to the girls’ storyline.)

The next 5 or so years is when the internal war began. Every day at work, a girl who is gay would tell me I was confused. I knew what she meant and she knew I knew what she meant. Almost every day, I had a “friend” that would confront me and ask me if I was gay. Rumors at work floated around. I felt tormented. Sure, women were sexy, but I was not like that girl who kept telling me I was confused. I was not gay.

Except that I was gay.

A few years after that, I admitted that I had an attraction to women. I didn’t want to act upon it because that’s not what God would want. I was raised that being gay was wrong. I would shame my family. I couldn’t openly live a life that would shame my family. I just couldn’t.

Then one day, while sitting at a red light, I said the words, “Dear God, I’m gay.” It wasn’t an exclamation. I was praying. It was the first time in a long time that I had prayed. Through my tears I confessed to God that I was attracted to women. That I wanted to find a woman to spend my life with. That I was sorry if He was disappointed in me, but I couldn’t change this part of me. I was born like this. My whole life finally made sense to me.

What I felt after that was something that words cannot describe. I felt so warm and loved. It felt like someone had taken their arms and wrapped them around me and said, “I know, child. I know.” I realized right there in that moment that God wasn’t disappointed in me. He loved me very much and that I should love myself, too.

Right there, in that moment, my faith had become stronger than ever, and for the first time in a long time, I felt strong.

Recently, a friend and I were having a discussion about God. He wasn’t sure that God loved like humans do. I told him, God is like the wind. I can’t see Him, but I feel Him and His love every day. I can’t explain it, I just know it. And that makes me smile.

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It may not be an Emmy

Sixteen years ago, I had grand dreams of being married with kids in a beautiful home with dogs. I still have the floor plans of the dream house that I wanted to share with my spouse and kids. I had my dogs picked out, named my children, and after I accepted my Emmy for "Best Guest Performance" on Friends, we would settle in for a quiet life. In my seventeen year old brain, life was going to be perfect.


Then my twenties happened. I fought a war within myself. For most of my adult years, I battled my attraction to women. I didn't want to be gay. Being gay would ruin my image of my perfect life and after the one boy that I had every fallen in love with chose another woman, I gave up the dream of that beautiful house and those beautiful children.


Last week, my girlfriend and I were in the car. After a few thoughtful moments, she said, "If we have a boy, we should name him Jackson. We could call him Jack." She then went on to say how the 6 year old would love to have a little brother named Jack.


All of those years ago, when I named my children, Jackson was my little boy's name. "Jackson" is a family name and in my dreams, I always called out to Jack to come to the kitchen for his daily snack. There is no way my girlfriend could have known this was the name I had chosen. I never talked with her about it. When I told her that I had always thought I would name a boy "Jackson," the smile on her face warmed my heart in such a way that I have no words.


My life is changing in a big way. In a way that I had given up hoping for. Now, dreams that had faded into the depths of my mind are beginning to resurface. I dream of a beautiful home, with my beautiful wife and our beautiful children. And our dogs and cats and birds. I dream of a nice, quiet life that isn't without the little adventures that we like to take. I realize now that being gay didn't ruin that perfect image. Denying who I really was did. Though now that I think about it, it wasn't really ruined. It was just put on hold while I figured out, accepted, and loved who I really am.


And that's the best prize of all.

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I'm a walking contradiction. While I love to draw, paint and read, I also love all things gadgets, science and even science fiction (I know). My animals (two dogs and two birds) are my heart, and if I could figure out how to legally own a giraffe, I would. That all said, I have my BS in Mathematics. :o)

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