by

Lorna K. Grant

 

As a little girl, I read the stories of Prince Charming and the Knight in Shining Armor who rescues the Fair Maiden.  As I grew older, I moved on to reading paperback romances, where the girl always got the guy, and love forever more.  I couldnít wait until I found my own Prince Charming.

Patience was never one of my shining virtues.  But, as the saying goes, good things come to those who wait.  I just didnít realize Iíd have to wait so long!

All through my twenties, I buried my nose in my books, day dreaming of my own ďMr. RightĒ and that he was just around the corner.  I turned a lot of corners, believe me!  Then, one day, after a particularly difficult break-up, I decided if I couldnít find my Prince Charming, then I would create him.

I outlined my first romance and the hero of my dreams.  He was a Scottish Highlander, tall and strong, with dark hair that brushed against his shoulders in the breeze, and the most beguiling blue eyes.  This hero brooded, yet laughed; protected and yet was vulnerable.  He disdained the thought of love, but fell under the spell of the heroine, his one and true love.  The quintessential hero that females would sigh over, dream of, and wish for.

I didnít know it at the time, but I had described my own true love Ė I just hadnít met him yet.

Work on the fictional romance progressed, and one weekend, I met a man over the Internet.  We emailed each other, chatted when we had the chance, and even phoned one another.  We became close, and I thought, maybe, just maybe, this was the one.  I flew out to Southern California, and fell in love.

Not with the man, but with California.

Disappointed that my ďPrinceĒ was a frog, I returned to Nebraska, though remained friends with my Internet guy.  But I was so enamored with the area I had just visited, I felt I had to move to California.  Something pulled me, something so strong, I still canít explain the reasons I decided to leave all that was comfortable and secure and move to a strange city.  But I just knew I had to. So I packed up my little car, and headed west.

I arrived and threw myself into my writing and enjoying living only four blocks from the beach.  I molded my fictional hero on paper, and decided that maybe it just wasnít meant to be that I find my own flesh and blood hero.  So I quit looking, and decided to just enjoy life as it came to me.

And then it happened.

It was July 5, 1998.  I was visiting the neighbors, when my roommate told me a friend of his had called and was coming down to surf.  After my visit, I returned to the house and I found my hero, my one and true love, standing in the living room.  The first thought that went through my head was ďWow!Ē


He stood six foot tall, had long, dark hair, a rather nice body, and the most lose-yourself-in-their-depths blue eyes Iíd ever seen.  He took my hand in his as we were introduced, and I swear, every nerve ending in my body exploded.  And his smile! Sigh.

We all went down to the beach and the guys surfed.  I couldnít take my eyes off Troy, the man Iíd just met.  I watched him out in the water on his long board; the way he seemed so at home on the waves; the way he moved with such athletic grace on the board; the way he smiled and laughed as he came out of the water.  We headed back to the house, and the two of us started to talk.  And talk.  And talk.

It had grown dark, and I never even realized it.  This man made me feel so at ease Ė it was like weíd known each other since the beginning of time.  We decided to walk along the beach, and it was under the moonlight, with the waves crashing against the shore, that I realized what Heaven on Earth was like as I felt his arms around me, the taste of his lips on mine.

Time stood still during that first kiss.

And rushed by in a blur the next week.

I donít remember much about that week, except for the little things, the way I felt.  I can recall the way my heart fluttered every time the phone rang; the way my breath caught right before he kissed me; the way he would pull me close and hold me tight.  I remember the roughness of his five oíclock shadow; the silkiness of his hair; the softness of his lips.  I remember feeling alive for the first time in my life.

On the following Saturday, he took me to Mission Bay in San Diego to go rollerblading.  Which normally wouldnít have been too bad, but one, I didnít know how to rollerblade, and two, I didnít own any blades!  But Troy took care of both.  He bought me a pair of blades, and taught me how to use them.  The park was crowded, but it felt as if we were the only two people there.  I remember laughing, smiling; I remember falling down and skinning my knee!  And it was all so wonderful.

We ate dinner at a quaint little restaurant, outside on the patio, and talked.  Then suddenly, I knew.  I knew with every fiber in my being, from the very depths of my soul, that this man was the love of my life, my grand passion.

That was four years ago.

On October 20, 2001, after five different dates, we were married.


I know people wonder how we could fall in love with each other; weíre so different, such opposites.  But we surprised them, and ourselves, I think.  And complete opposites we are.  Heís a computer guru; Iím lucky to be able to retrieve my email.  He listens to Metallica and Slayer; Iím George Strait and Billie Holiday (though we both enjoy The Doors and Stevie Ray Vaughn).  He loves horror flicks and action movies; give me Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn.  Iím a history nut; he isnít.  I read romance and mysteries; he reads Stephen King.  Iíve always got my nose in a book; he likes to go to the gym, surf, and blade.

So what holds us together?  Itís simple Ė love.

A greater love than Iíve ever known.  A love so powerful, I still get butterflies in my stomach whenever I think of him; my breath still catches when he kisses me; I still tremble when he touches me, holds me; my heart still pounds with the anticipation of seeing him.

So what if weíre total and complete opposites.  All that means is that he is what Iím not.  He completes me.


I can hear all the feminists out there saying, ďYou donít need a man to make you whole!Ē  Well, maybe I donít, but thatís how he makes me feel, like I was missing something before I met him, and without him, it will be gone.  But with him, his love, in my life, itís complete Ė Iím whole.

 

Itís hard, you know, trying to put into words such a powerful emotion, this coming together of soulmates.  Many poets and writers have come close, but unless you have experienced such a love for yourself, you donít quite understand what it is theyíre saying, what it is theyíre feeling. 

 

Itís being happy because the one you love is happy, feeling his pain and sorrow as if it was your own.  Itís the little things Ė the kiss good-bye, the touching of hands as you hand him the phone, the lingering look across the room Ė that have the power to fill your heart with love, until you think itís going to burst.  With your soulmate, you want their dreams to come true; you want to rope the moon for them.  You give of yourself and get so much more in return, yet expect nothing.

 

This is how I feel with my husband, my soulmate.

 

Iím lucky to have found my soulmate, to know such passion, such tenderness, and such love, for whatever length of time God, or the Fates, will let me steal.  Every moment I spend with Troy is a gift, and I cherish each kiss, each touch, every ďI Love You.Ē  I can see us years from now, old and gray-haired, but still so much in love, not needing to say the words, but just knowing.

 

See, Iíve learned ďI love youĒ isnít always said with words.  It can be said with a kiss, a touch, a look.  Itís said through the heart, the soul, not necessarily the voice.  And with a soulmate, there is no need for words.

 

But the State of Nebraska required words to be spoken, vows to be made, when we married.  It was difficult to come up with the perfect verse, the perfect words, to speak to the man I love.  But I found an old Celtic verse that said it all, that spoke from my heart to his, from his heart to mine.  The words said what our hearts and souls felt, and still feel:

 

By the life that courses within my blood and the love that resides within my heart, I take thee to my hand, my heart, and my spirit.  I promise to love thee wholly and completely without restraint, in sickness and in health, in plenty and in poverty, in life and beyond, where we shall meet, remember, and love, again.


My fictional hero came to life that day and has shown me a love more fulfilling than any story book romance; a love that has gone from fantasy to reality.

 

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