I was sixteen, had recently broken up with a boy, and felt no need for a new boyfriend. The winter semi-formal dance was coming up so a group of us went together. We paired off into dates but it didn’t mean anything. I wore a pink and silver vintage dress and I felt like a Barbie doll. Several parents (including my mother) drove us in minivans to a buffet restaurant and then to the dance. I think I danced with several boys. I know I danced with my date several times. And then the announcement came – the last dance of the night. Everyone scurried to find their date and as I settled into the arms of mine nothing was different from all the other dances of the evening. But everything was different. This was the moment.
It was last week, New Years Day. We spent the night before with my childhood best friends, our own children sleeping and us being foolish and acting like teenagers once again. Early in the morning of New Years day, with the night still dark, and the house asleep I was traipsing back and forth from the guest room to the bathroom, hit by a stomach bug. I was the only one not drinking the night before but I was the only one to be affected, thanks to my immunosuppressant medications, and I spent the entire day sleeping. As anyone with a chronic illness knows, regular illnesses that would be difficult for an average person can be debilitating for those of us who are a little more fragile health-wise. My husband checked on me every hour – have I checked my blood sugar? Have I lowered my insulin rates? Have I taken my mestinon (which helps me breathe)? Have I drank any more water? And during one of these checks I complained that my feet were cold so he dug through my suitcase and found my hand knit wool socks and carefully slid them on my feet. And it was no different than the multitude of kindnesses he extends to me every day. But it was entirely different. This was the moment.
This was the moment I fell in love. The first time and the most recent time.
It’s amazing that when you’re with someone for so long the daily routine can become mundane until suddenly there’s a moment that flashes brighter than the rest. A slice in time shines so intensely it seems sacred. These moments stack up and create a legacy of love which keeps us going when life is hard and tiring and dark. These moments are worth remembering.