After 7 months of dating, and a slow and steady stroll to love, the Englishman is taking my son and me to England to meet his family for two weeks in December. By slow and steady, of course I mean that I have loved him since our first date, but it took me months to allow myself to not only enjoy it, but label it. I am still nervous and scared that I am going to be hurt by love, but I can now say, with no hesitation, that I am in love.
I am my true self with this man. I have no fear of judgment and that is a freedom that every woman should feel. When I am sarcastic he laughs at me, when I am moody he tolerates me, when I am uncertain he assures me, when I am crazy he embraces me, and when I am nervous that something bad will happen because I am not sure that I am deserving of a true love, he loves me enough to make me believe that my days of heartache are over.
When I am in sweatpants and my hair is in a ponytail, he tells me I look beautiful. When we are busy with work and cannot speak, he texts me to say he misses me. When I blog about him, sharing our relationship with people I feel connected to, but are complete strangers to him, he tells me he is proud of my work. When my last relationship ended I was certain I would never love anyone again.
I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, ex-wife, employee, employer, lover, woman, coward, and superhero. I am all of these things every single day, and finding a balance is hard. I don’t know that I would have made it to this place in my romantic life were it not for this blog and those who read it. I don’t like to ask for help, but luckily for me, you never waited for me to ask, you simply offered your kindness to a stranger.
The truth is that I don’t think of you as strangers at all. Some of you are actually guardian angels to me. You have taken this journey with me, and when I stumbled you picked me up. When I was ready to dump the Englishman because I was scared, you gave me light to find my way. When I wanted to walk away before I got hurt, even though there was no indication hurt was coming, you kicked me in the butt and told me to stop.
To the women who have been broken and managed to find love again, you encouraged me by sharing your own stories of hope and survival. To the women who gave up on love and now regret they didn’t allow themselves to love again, you shared your cautionary tales and told me to learn from your mistakes. You have all been brave and I am forever grateful. Each time my Englishman tells me he loves me, I thank God for all of you.
When I hug my child, I hang on for a second longer because I think of all the mothers who have lost children. When I hug my Englishman, I hang on for a second longer for every single woman who is searching for love. When I meet the Englishman’s father, I will hang on a second longer for all the hugs I wish I could give my beloved father. When I hug the Englishman’s mother, I will hang on a second longer as I pray that she really likes me.
I have had my heart broken by love, and even worse, my spirit broken by men who where unkind. I have cried more than I laughed, and now I feel that my Prince Charming has come. Finally. It’s about time too because I was one cat away from being beyond help. I am going to England and I cannot wait. I have not been to London in 14 years, and the last time I was there it was for business and a quick trip with no time for sightseeing or shopping.
I am going to see London this time through the eyes of a man who loves it so much. It is his home and I can’t wait. I’m also getting to experience my son’s first trip to Europe and that is beyond exciting. I am also going to Manchester, which is where my father grew up, for the first time. I will see his family, be in the city he loved so much, and I will get to share it all with my son. My dad watches over me and I know he is excited about the trip.
I am excited to sit in the kitchen of the Englishman’s mother and hear stories of him as a child. I want to cook a lovely meal for his dad and younger brother, and I want to play with his nephews and have a cup of tea with his other brother and sister-in-law. I want to experience his family in a way that will give me memories for a lifetime. I have not met them, but I love them all already, and my heart is full when I think about our trip.
I am 46 years old and I believe I have found my beshert. Every road travelled, both happy and sad, has led me to this man and I am blessed. His taking me home to meet his parents is a romantic gesture on the grandest scale, and I am happy to share it with you. By share it, of course I mean I am taking you all with me. You are my friends, my teachers, my inspirations, and one of the strongest reasons that I am able to keep the faith.
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