The Winding and Beautiful Road

February 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Posted in Barton's Blogs, Our Love Story | 2 Comments
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Barton and Megan in Arizona.

It is amazing to me the beauty that unfolds when we let go of the unnecessary and follow with a trusting heart where we are being led. The day after Valentine’s Day eight years ago I found myself in this exact position. Though at the time, I was not entirely aware of the extent to which this was occurring.

As some of you may know, this is the day I met Megan for the first time during a brief encounter when I dropped by a friend’s house to begin a new stage in my martial arts training. I had no idea at the time that this would be the same occasion that would bring me face to face with the woman that would become the love of my life. In fact, romance of any kind was the thing furthest from my mind at the moment. I had tentative plans for the night before to reconnect with an old flame in what was clearly a futile attempt to rekindle a relatively unhealthy and unwanted relationship. When the plans fell through, I took it as a clear sign that it was not where my focus needed to be, and, perhaps hopelessly began to believe that finding partnership in this lifetime was not where I was being led. Surprisingly, I was okay with this.

But boy, was I wrong, and thank God for that! My focus the day that Megan and I met was on training. And though I thought she was beautiful, it wasn’t until we met again three months later that I even considered pursuing her in any fashion. Fortunately, I did and though it took her a while to catch on, I feel confident in saying that it was probably the best thing for either of us that I’ve ever done.

After eight years, we’ve been through quite a bit, discovering a constant practice of rediscovering who we are as individuals and as a couple. It’s been a challenging, beautiful, exquisite, exhilarating journey, and while there’s always been more to work on, it feels like we are finally beginning to understand how true partnerships flow and function.

Last week, some dear friends of ours gave us a very fine gift to use for a special dinner for Valentine’s Day. We opted to make our reservations a day late and take the chance to celebrate not only our love for one another but to take the time to look back over these eight marvelous years we have known each other, and reflect on our on-going transformations and look forward to the opportunities to grow together that await us.

A Chance Meeting for Love

February 21, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Posted in Megan's Blogs, Our Love Story | Leave a comment
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Barton and Megan in Tucson, AZ.

February is a month of celebration for us- not only is it Valentine’s Day, but over the Valentine’s Day weekend eight years ago, Barton & I met for the first time. I was in Arizona for an informal martial arts training at a friend’s house. In fact, I had skipped out on a local seminar so that I could be there.

That Saturday afternoon, I was in the hallway talking to several of my friends when I was introduced to Barton. My first thought was like most other people- how does he train in a wheelchair? Later I would quickly find out! In a flash he was gone, out the door, and I returned to training. I had not ever expected to find love within that brief meeting.

After all, I had spent the last two years recovering from the public break-up of an engagement and the death of my mother. And while I had begun training in martial arts and returned to my writing, the first steps to move on with my life, I never thought I would fall in love or get married.

Sure enough, my heart knew, but my mind took a while to catch up. When we said good-bye that April after a longer seminar, I tucked a note with my name and email and a piece of turquoise in his pocket, along with a kiss on the cheek. Later, I would catch myself talking about Barton or telling a Barton story to a friend. I couldn’t have expected the love that would follow.

This winter has been particularly difficult, and while we worked through all of the challenges that were presented to us side-by-side, it was wonderful to have such caring family and friends that allowed for us to take a breath, a break from the external chaos, and a chance to celebrate our relationship and connection. As we honor the transformation in our relationship over the last eight years, we look back at what a journey it has been and dream about what is to come!

This is one of our favorite quotes from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin that speaks to this transformation:

When you fall in love, it is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake, and then it subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. This is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the desire to mate every second of the day. It is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every part of your body. No… don’t blush. I am telling you some truths. For that is just being in love; which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over, when being in love has burned away. Doesn’t sound very exciting, does it? But it is!
~Iannis, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

In Memory of Little Beowulf

February 8, 2011 at 6:31 pm | Posted in Marley & Me x2, Megan's Blogs, The Nitty-Gritty | 2 Comments
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Barton & Beowulf chilling out.

Barton & Beowulf chilling out.

Last spring, Barton and I were walking our two dogs Bear and Basho in our neighborhood when a little 3-month puppy ran up to us & began playing with Bear & Basho. Normally our black labs go nuts & bark at other dogs, but this time they didn’t- they let the puppy tug on their ears.

It was clear this little dog was lost, and we did know he had just been neutered. When we did find the owners later in the day, Beowulf, as we called him, sat down by Barton’s wheelchair and refused to move. What a fun story that we told when we realized the owners were actually foster parents searching for a permanent home for him. It looks like he found his family.

The poor little guy had mange and lost all the fur on his head & legs, which eventually grew back. Little Beowulf also had some developmental problems, and he had actually just had surgery before we found him.

Were we insane when we considered adopting him with two other dogs? Probably, but the three played so well together, and Beowulf quickly became Barton’s dog. He would just fit in Barton’s lap, and he had just learned to crawl up onto Barton’s wheelchair. His usual perch was on Barton’s footrest, and he looked like a guard dog with his chest all puffed out. If I were sitting down, he would crawl into my lap or curl up between Barton & I- he was one of the most snuggly dogs I had ever met.

Beowulf- The Guard Puppy

Beowulf- The Guard Puppy

Beowulf and Basho (the middle dog) played and played, wrestling for hours. Outside, Beowulf would race to his guard post under the ramp landing. He would wait for Basho to get just a little closer, stalk him and pounce. He would tackle Basho, and egg him on to begin a chase around the yard. And inside, we learned very quickly not to leave clothes on the floor & anything that could be chewed went up on higher levels.

Sadly, we lost little Beowulf this last weekend when we found that there were problems beyond our scope of care. We are heartbroken, but oh, do we have stories to tell.

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