Kiss From A Rose

Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
— H. L. Mencken

Love is not blind - it sees more, not less. But because it sees more, it is willing to see less.
— Rabbi Julius Gordon

All things are difficult before they are easy.
— Dr. Thomas Fuller

In early September, Erica and I decided that we'd like to meet in person. For various reasons, however, the first feasible date was not going to be until the middle of October.  That started what may very well have been the longest forty-four days of my life. That time, though, gave us more time to get to know each other and for our feelings to grow and bloom.

As a side note, I'm still amazed at how our relationship has taken root given the brief time span and the fact that we've flipped the script of how you normally get to know someone on its head. There's no logical reason why this works but it does. Logic be damned.

Fast forward to last Friday when the countdown timer finally ticked down to 0:00:00 and we both headed to our agreed location somewhere in the vast in-between expanse that makes this whole thing so challenging. She got into town early and had scouted out the area and picked the best spot to meet. After what seemed like an endless drive, I finally reached the right place. Nervously, I pulled up next to her car, we both got out, and my pulse sped up quite a bit. There was the most amazing woman I've ever known in person for the first time and not through a screen. We hugged for what was simultaneously forever and not nearly long enough.

And I'm sorry, dear readers, but that's as much detail as you get about our time together. It was our time and it exists for her and me alone. Except to say that she gave me the most thoughtful and personal gift I have ever received. And only since I feel like I need to pay off the title of this post, I will say that our first kiss was amazing. AY-MAY-ZING!

But — and there always is a but, isn't there — as wonderful as the weekend was, it wasn't perfect. And that's a good thing because, no matter how much we want it to be, life is never perfect. There are always unforeseen bumps in the road and what defines us is how we react to and deal with them. Erica and I are still getting used to each other, learning about each other, and growing together. That doesn't happen without a stumble or problem here and there but working through them will make us stronger as a couple. And that's a very good thing, indeed.

Our hope, our desire, is that this is the beginning of a lifetime together. A lifetime of love and happiness. But also a lifetime of bumps and stumbles that need to be worked through. More importantly, though, both of those seemingly opposing aspects mean a lifetime of continually growing closer and stronger. That, dear readers, is the best thing of all.