"Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction."Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Things that draw and quarter some couples just seem to bind my partner, Ted, and I closer together.
We've gone through the death of parents and pets, divorce, and blending families. But since the beginning, because we're partners in business and in life, one thing just blends into another. We're both writers. We both lecture on journalism. I help out his students on layout night at the Moraine Valley Glacier. He helps out at my charity events and provides me support as I straddle the worlds of nonprofit, freelance writing and broadcasting. And keeps me grounded in the reality of overscheduling.
And we are each other's rocks...our lifelines when tragedies strike:
- It began on our fifth date, after I suggested canceling, he chose to come with me to the Emergency Room to be with my Mom (who he hadn't met) and me as my Dad went into the hospital, where he was to spend much of the last four months of his life.
- Four months later, he held on to my sobbing, shaking form and told me it would be okay after I said my final goodbye to my Dad in hospice care.
- After I delivered my Dad's eulogy, he kissed the top of my head reassuringly as I sat down and started crying.
For me, partnering is a two-way street:
- I've been at his side, 24 hours a day, through three emergency hospital stays...the kind where you don't know what's coming next, and the next test could determine your quality of life.
- We held each other and cried after discovering the lifeless body of Duke, our beloved pet dog, on Memorial Day of this year. He had 'adopted' Duke when he got together with me.
Most recently, we went through almost 30 hours of delayed flights getting back from Nashville, courtesy of American Airlines' 'maintenance problems.' We held each other up as we traded off frustrations, delays and exhaustion. Nerves, frayed to the end, were blunted as we traded off trying to figure out what we actually could control in a crazy situation.
It usually takes a lifetime to go through some of the events my partner, Ted, and I have seen in nearly two years together. I hope for many more lifetimes with Ted!
Love is a partnership of two unique people who bring out the very best in each other and who know that even though they are wonderful as individuals, they even are better together.
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