Triggers, Letters & Love


How many layers of grief? How many levels and triggers—everywhere, like gunfire only I can hear?

Or, more like the sound, sight, and magic of watching fireworks while holding my man’s hand—then silence, darkness, and dread.

It happens repeatedly, like I’m a ball tied to a paddle.

I’m feathered with memories: songs, the smell of cigars, the seat where he sat smiling at me…

Like one match ignites the shower of Fire! crackers! Bam. Beautiful. Then dark.

Like seeing someone you love and immediately being horse kicked. So fast.

Memories sneak up on me. I have this silly notion I could get through them all and be done. Impossible.

I was just looking for a pen in my bedside stand. Sure, I felt a twinge as I opened the drawer that holds the love letters from Kevin. That’s a drawer I’ve opened many times since Kevin died. It’s a drawer I’ve lived in. I wasn’t afraid of those letters.

But, for the first time, from a new angle—on my knees rather than in my bed—I remembered I copied the letters I’d written him.

They seemed to call out for attention. I picked one up. Why did I make copies of these? I thank God I made copies. I think. What did I say?

The first one I picked up was the first letter I wrote to Kevin: May 30, 2014. He’d written me several letters by then. My response was the best of me—feminine, bold, soft, honest, clear.

My letter mirrored his in authenticity and excitement. Remember that rush when you’re about to leap into love’s arms?

I wrote: “I’m in! I’m into you! In spite of my fears.”

Finding my response to Kevin when we stood on the brink of wonderful reminds me the gift isn’t only in being loved. It’s in the loving.

I leaped and he let me love him. It seems simple, but many people don’t know how to welcome love when it arrives at their door. They examine, question, and challenge love. They say they want love, yet resist it.

Not Kevin. Just like he said—he wasn’t like those other guys. When I showed up as love, Kevin said, “Come on in. Let’s party.”

There’s glory in risking for love, especially after decades and scars have multiplied.

When a man welcomes a woman to love him, dances in the light of her love, and drinks her like water, she blossoms.

To give love and have someone gladly receive it while recognizing the value of that gift (rather than dismissing, denying, or competing with) is medicine for the soul. We drank our medicine.

I was blessed to be loved by Kevin. It was my fortunate joy to love him.

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