Do You Want To Hold Me?

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs for their religion –
I have shudder’d at it.
I shudder no more.
I could be martyr’d for my religion
Love is my religion
And I could die for that.
I could die for you.”
~ by John Keats ~

In the time that once was we lived this quote from above. We listened to Whiskey Lullaby and shared our joy/fear in the song because we knew what it meant to love so completely that you felt like you were being consumed by it. We knew the pain of separation and the joy of having found that person that completed us.  There was nothing more amazing or more powerful than that which we felt for each other. It was love. It was lust. It was hope. It was fear. It was magic. It was a fire that burned inside and fueled my imagination about a life that I had never believed to be possible.

In the quiet moments of the day I listened to you breathe and drank up your presence. I stared into your eyes and got lost in what I saw. The thought that we would never be was impossible for me to believe. I couldn’t conceive of that, couldn’t believe of a life that would rob me of my girl. Couldn’t believe that a day would come when you would push me away. I remember talking about World War II and sharing stories about our grandparents. I remember talking about what would have happened if we found ourselves in a situation where I was overseas while you remained behind. I remember thinking about how hard it would have been to have been fighting through the pacific or somewhere in Europe not knowing what was happening back home. I remember you crying at the thought of not knowing whether I was dead or alive.

And I remember kissing your tears away and holding you. My tough girl who would never make herself so open or vulnerable had somehow found herself in a position where all of the walls had come down. I promised you then that I wouldn’t die like that. I promised that I would find my way back to you. Swore that I could feel your love wherever I was and that it would provide a map that I could follow back to you. It wouldn’t matter where I was. Wouldn’t matter how long it took or how far away, I would come for you. It is a theme that hasn’t changed, even if some other things have.

I cannot be other than who I am. Cannot ignore what my heart says or the manner in which it drives me forward. The promises we made are sacred. The words we shared and the experiences moved from the profane to the holy. That is not sacrilege, hyperbole or melodrama. It is a simple attempt to explain and explore the words we wrote upon our souls. It is a poor attempt to provide a concrete description of two people who merged into one. But it is what it is and I am limited in my ability to convey that which lies beneath.

Sometimes I fear that the lyrics were prophetic:

“She put him out like the burnin’ end of a midnight cigarette
She broke his heart he spent his whole life tryin’ to forget
We watched him drink his pain away a little at a time
But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind
Until the night

1st Chorus
He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away her memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength he had to get up off his knees
We found him with his face down in the pillow
With a note that said I’ll love her till I die
And when we buried him beneath the willow
The angels sang a whiskey lullaby

(Sing lullaby)

The rumors flew but nobody know how much she blamed herself
For years and years she tried to hide the whiskey on her breath
She finally drank her pain away a little at a time
But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind
Until the night

2nd Chorus
She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger
And finally drank away his memory
Life is short but this time it was bigger
Than the strength she had to get up off her knees
We found her with her face down in the pillow
Clinging to his picture for dear life
We laid her next to him beneath the willow
While the angels sang a whiskey lullaby

(Sing lullaby)”

But then I close my eyes and listen to my soul. It still sings our song and it still touches yours. It touches yours and tells me that though you may fight it, the connection still exists. So I am reminded that my job is to be your hero. I am reminded that I promised to bear the burden of what might come. I am reminded of these things because I am the fool that believes in the things that he sometimes cannot see or touch. I am the yin to your yang.  Everything has changed and yet nothing has. The foundation of who we are and what we can be remains.  Somewhere in the ether our love continues to burn as brightly as it ever did. That is the kind of fire that can’t ever be extinguished.

Now it remains to be seen whether we can find our way. Now is the great test of our lives and the moment that challenges us. I ask you to give me your hand. I ask you do you want to hold me. I ask you to open your heart to me and to let my heart caress yours. I ask you to open yourself to possibility because to give up without fighting is not something that I can live with. Will you leave me grasping at the air? Will you leave me to chase the ghosts of the past or will you take my hand and join me in trying to build the future we used to see.

You might call me a dreamer but I am not the only one.

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