One of my dearest friends made an observation in a conversation not long ago that's bothered me a lot. She said, of my former husband, "He was the love of your life. You completely and totally adored him."
And yes, she's right. I did adore him. Utterly.
I loved his scent, the texture of his skin, the sound of his voice, how gifted he was at working with people. His soft green eyes melted my heart. My heart skipped a beat when he came through the door. He made the best Spaghetti Carbonara, Veal Scallopini, and Fettucini Alfredo I've eaten anywhere, including in Italy. His touch undid me, made me shiver with delight. He provided amply for our family and was generous with friends and family. There were times when he made me feel so loved, though now I wonder if that was just illusion created by a master manipulator because so much of his secret behavior was inconsistent with loving me and actively undermined our marriage. In any event, his good points as well as the intensity of love I felt for him frankly are a yardstick by which it's all-too-tempting to measure other men and find them wanting. I'm consciously working on that because I need to create new metrics.
But her observation rattled me to my core. Not the adoration part -- that's just a statement of fact. It's the other part that pierced my heart.
Was he, in fact, "the love" of my life?
Does that mean that in our whole lives, we only get one chance at great, grand passion and it's all downhill from there? Are there no do-overs?
Does that mean I'll have to wait until another lifetime to know the kind of love I felt for him? Will I never be wrapped in the arms of someone who loves me as utterly as I love him in return? Will I never lie sleeping with my back nestled up against Mr. Right's chest like spoons in a drawer, simultaneously dreaming the same dream?
That hardly seems fair.
Is there hope? Or is she right?
Because if she's right, I need to shed a few tears, cancel the dating services, and realize there's more to life than kissing frogs. Not that I've kissed any lately.