Earlier this year, I talked about telling my story, but it got lost in the midst of working on other things, a major life change, and just the sheer busyness of life. I’ve been looking through my journals to look for something to get the juices flowing. Right about this time 10 years ago, I met my husband. I didn’t know it then. I liked him immediately because was smart, sarcastic, and could zing other people. He was very thoughtful and intelligent! I always had a thing for smart boys. We became good friends. And I began to want more. But at that time I thought I would be returning to Spain to work for my former church there. A few months later he transferred with his company to Chicago. We were in Kansas City. He moved and we stayed in touch. We emailed, and I would fly to Chicago to see him, and he would come to Kansas City to see me and other friends. I always wanted more, but I wanted this man in my life, so I was content to be friends. I found this entry in a journal dated September 2004–two years before we got together:

Yes, I am thinking of him again.Sometimes it really bites to be in love with one of your best friends. Been in love with him for years. Not long after we became friends. I chuckle as I remember how hard I fell for him. When I could be honest with myself, I would admit that I never fully recovered, didn’t know if I would.We both knew it would never be. Neither of us would never do the compromising it would take to make it work. [HA! How wrong was I!] We were friends–good friends. And with all of the reasons and the reality of why it couldn’t be rattling around inside my head–I loved him.

I’d only recently admitted to myself that yes, I did love him. And that I wanted to be more than friends. I always said I could fall in love with him. But I think that happened a long time ago. It was a bittersweet feeling. This knowledge of love and the knowledge it would never be more.

But I had decided having him in my life as a friend was much more important than him not being in my life at all because of all the little fantasies playing in my head that I knew would never pay out. Some days it was hard to live. Like today. Today when I got a wonderful email from him with his characteristic sarcasm and humor. He always made me smile.

But it was in the opening of the letter–his compliments. He liked my poem. The poem I wrote for him. The poem where I finally admitted to myself I loved him. I don’t remember him complementing any of my other writing so highly. He like it. He praised it. And once again I felt that old familiar ache in my heart.

And here is the poem that started this sentimental journal entry:

“I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints.”–Elizabeth Barrett Browning

“My Lost Saint”
It is odd
Finally, admitting to myself
How I feel.
I’ve kept it hidden
In the back of my heart
For a very long time.
So many reasons
Why I shouldn’t:
Like it will never be.
But that just hasn’t
Changed these feelings.
The depth of my emotion
Reveals itself at the smallest thing:
A sarcastic remark,
Affirmation that you see
Who I really am.
I do love you.
I am in love with you,
My lost saint.

©2006 Shawna Renee Bound

I’m not sure how I’m going to tell my story, but I am going to tell it. It will probably be more topical than chronological. But I do want to tell who I was, where I’ve been, who I am, and where I want to go. Two years after I wrote this poem and this journal entry, Tracy and I had our first date in January 2006, we we’re engaged in March, and married on May 26, 2006. We did make the compromises, and it did work out. There are some things it’s nice to be wrong about.