Love is grace the second time around

Love is grace the second time around

Love hurts. It wounds and scars. That’s what the song says anyway, and it certainly has been my experience.

People can be cruel. They can be faithless. They often fail or betray. And, of course, people die. Love hurts a lot.

I’ve never thought love was a guarantee. People don’t owe you love. They give it, it grows, it sneaks up on you. But you can’t guarantee you’ll find it.

Love is grace, something you get and don’t deserve. And, love is something you give that tethers you to another soul for better or for worse.

I think love is singular. It’s different for every person you love. I love my daughter fiercely. I love my husband passionately. I love my friends and family in a variety of ways. Sometimes it gets complicated and confusing.

I was married and divorced in my twenties. I sometimes hate the fact that I have a “first marriage.” I suspect my husband does too. But, the second marriage is the real deal. It’s grace and comfort, safety and intensity.

My second wedding was so much better. I was there for it. Really there. I remember the strawberries on the table, the chocolate cake.

I remember the Shakespeare sonnets we read to each other. I remember the tears. I remember hearing my friends softly whispering the sonnets along with us.

I remember the rain, the pouring rain that turned a garden wedding into a small house wedding. An umbrella in hand, my brother met every person as they arrived and walked them to the door. He walked one guy to the house, who, when he came inside, said, “This isn’t the garage sale, is it?”

Love is lovelier the second time around. That’s what the song says anyway, and it has been my experience.

I’m thinking of this today because yesterday my college roommate, Brenda, was married….for the second time. We lived together for four years. We have a kind of love that has always made me feel that I have a sister. She seems to have always been there for the important things.

Her husband died six years ago or so. Love will rip a hole in your heart. Sometimes loving someone and then losing them wounds and leaves scars. Those scars are different from the the ones my first marriage left, but they are still there.

Brenda and Tim got married yesterday on a cloudy day in the Tennessee hills with rain spattering. After we all got under the tents to eat, it poured. No one minded though, because almost every one of us cried during their vows. The rain seemed joyous and not ominous.

These two have found the grace of love. And I’m sure there will be times when love hurts. It has been my experience. But as the song says, I am so glad they met the second time around.

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