We comforted each other through our
troubling times by "listening," offering encouragement and
understanding. Online, in only a few days, we had each found a new best
friend. In a matter of a couple weeks, we knew each other better than
anyone else knew us. In a matter of a couple weeks, we knew ourselves
better than we ever had. In a matter of a couple weeks, our lives had
changed. We were "in love," even if we didnít admit it.
Impossible, you say? Consider that we were both prolific writers. After
three weeks of emails, I decided to print out the letters Iíd received
from Sandi. One ream of paper (500 pages) wasnít enough. And I had
written an equal volume of letters to her. In essence, we had each
written a book about our lives, our heartbreaks, our dreams and our
dreams that we thought weíd never realize. The little details were left
out, but who we each were was in those written pages, and with each page
I read I felt closer to the person who wrote them.
It was two months after our first emails that I asked Sandi if she would
show me the New York City tourist spots "if I show up on your doorstep."
By this time my divorce had been filed, hers was in its final stages.
My heart skipped a few beats when I first saw her. This wasnít a "first
date." This was the coming together of two soul mates. Almost as
beautiful on the outside as I had come to know her soul was, she exuded
elegance and charm in a down home kind of way. I didnít see any of New
York City that weekend, for I couldnít take my eyes off of Sandi. On the
third day of my visit, I told her that I loved her and wanted her with
me for the rest of my life. (Why wait when you know itís right?) With
tears of happiness streaking down her cheeks, she admitted that she felt
the same way about me.
It was an agonizing but sweet four months that followed, as we waited,
2000 miles apart, for first my divorce, then hers to finalize. The day
hers was final, she loaded up her car and began the long road trip from
the hustle and bustle of New York to the wide open prairies and towering
snow-covered mountains of Wyoming.
If ever there were doubts about whether or not we would stay together,
they vanished shortly after Sandi arrived. We meshed. Passions were
high. We worked together and played together, but more than anything, we
talked. Day in and day out, we sat and talked for hours at a time, never
running out of topics, never bored. We were married later that year.
(Why wait when you know itís right?)
Our love grew deeper and stronger day by day, and every day I was amazed
to discover that I loved her even more than I had the previous day. Our
love for each other filled our lives and overflowed into the lives of
others. We couldnít dislike anyone because there just wasnít room for
that. It was a wonderful place to be, and we wondered if anyone else in
the world felt love as strongly as we did. Surely, we thought, in this
world of billions of people, there must be another couple as much in
love as we were. But we knew what we had was extremely rare. Was this
"pure" love? Not quite yet.
This is a true story, and in real life nothing is ever quite perfect. I
learned that Sandi didnít keep house as well as I wished she would have.
I learned she was a shopoholic. She suffered emotionally from early
childhood abuses. I learned that she wasnít perfect in every way.
So my arrival at the pure love utopia came unexpectedly one evening
while I was peering over a countertop filled with dinnerís soiled
dishes. Sandi was sitting contentedly in her recliner knitting something
and totally impervious to the dirty counter. There had been a time not
long before when Iíd have wished she wouldnít ignore the mess, and Iíd
have simply cleaned it up over her objections. But this time I looked at
it and fell in love with her all over again. She left a mess and I loved
her for it!
Thatís when I realized my feelings for Sandi had risen to a new level. I
call it pure love. No matter what she did from then on, it made me love
her more. The fact that Sandi did it made it right, made it good, showed
me more about her, and the more I knew about her, the more I loved her.
I donít know how far our love affair could have taken us. We honestly
felt we had the power to change the world. The more love we gave, the
more we received. It had a snow-balling effect. If we could spread our
love to everyone, there would be no more wars, no more crimes, no more
anger in the world. But then one night, a little less than four years
from our first email, Sandi kissed me on the top of my balding head,
said, "I love you," climbed the stairs to take her nightly bath, and
joined Godís angels in heaven. I had caught but a glimpse of it.