Thursday, 19 April 2007

Forever man.

    How many times must I say I love you
    Before you finally understand?
    Won't you be my forever woman?
    I'll try to be your forever man,
    Try to be your forever man.

An aside first off, yesterday Jacob left on a vague errand and came home in time to take me out for a quick coffee so that I wouldn't fall asleep during the movie.  He came home empty-handed and made some reference to seeing a friend about a long-overdue project. He needs irons in the fire to keep busy, it makes him happy. I salvaged yesterday with help, I'm okay. I'm always okay now.

It wasn't until we were home from the movie that was so bad it was funny and PJ had been dispatched with the rest of the chicken pot pie that I had made for him that we were getting ready for bed and I discovered the nature of Jacob's errand. He unbuttoned his favorite flannel shirt and there was a white bandage on his chest, right over his heart.

I was staring at it. I knew what it was. He followed my eyes and looked down.

Oh, right. I completely forgot.

You didn't.

Of course I did.

He went into the bathroom and took a quick shower and came back without the bandage but with my name tattooed on his flesh. He already has a BR on his back, in his angel wings, along with his own JTF, Ruth's RB and Henry's HJ initials plus the baby we lost, already named, but this...this said Bridget. Right there clear as day on the front of his body.

It's bad luck, Jacob.

No, princess. It's statement of fact. My heart belongs to you. It has nothing to do with us, it's just the way things are, the way things have been, since the night we met. You control the speed of my heartbeats. Did you know that?

I'm forever grateful he turned out to be this romantic. Oh you have no idea. He is marked with my name. He's mine. All mine. It goes both ways, I am his.

Thank you God.

A year ago today, I jumped. I bent my knees very low and summoned every ounce of power and courage I could muster and I jumped

I didn't have a clue where I would land. I couldn't see. There was no firm ledge, no guaranteed soft fall, no promises of anything, contrary to popular belief.

I didn't know what would happen to my kids, my finances, my house or my heart. I didn't know if jumping would really make me happy or just give me something new to think about. I hoped that it would save my life.

Jumping out of a burning building, off a crumbling ledge, or across a crack in the ice as it widens is almost like being pushed. If you don't jump, you know you'll die standing still. It's a fear and a relief all mixed up together and it makes you feel like you're going to throw up. I can touch myself all over today and know that I made it. I'm in one piece, more or less. My battle scars seem invisible, my war wounds are fading, my heart is mending, my soul feels full.

I still smile hugely every time I see him. I miss him when he goes to the other room, I yearn for him when he's not within reaching distance, I want for nothing now.

It was like landing in a giant pillow. And I didn't have to fear for my life because in the instant that I jumped, I was spared, flaming skirt hem and all. And I could say the same for him, so let's reverse it for a moment. He stood on the edge of a cliff, below the flaming building, on the safe side of the iceberg that was breaking away and he opened his arms wide.

He stood on his faith and held his arms up and waited, not knowing what he would catch, if he could hold it, or what it would be. He caught the girl with the flaming skirt and a broken heart, two children who needed to be protected at all costs, and a solid and square hundred year old Victorian house. He also caught the ire and judgement of his very best friends in the process and he put his own heart and his own soul on the line, with the patience of Job and the shoulders of Atlas.

He saved my life. He put me down and touched me all over and he knew that I made it, with few scars and invisible wounds and a heart as brittle as a snowflake and a wide open emotional playground inside my head. But his soul is full now, he's helping to heal me, he's getting to know me. And he loves what he sees. He still smiles wide when he sees me, he misses me when I brush my teeth and thinks of me while he walks or drives.

He became a giant soft landing, a human resounding buffer zone, a collective force built into one man designed to withstand flaming broken-hearted girls seeking refuge.

We fell together, maybe, in a way. Yes.

One year later I thank God that for once I felt reckless and desperate and scared enough to make the leap even though it seemed scarier than standing still. At least with Cole I knew what to expect. I knew that we were provided for and he hurt me privately so the kids were safe and we were still a nuclear family. Cole had his sterling reputation as an artist, we lived a dream on the outside and for so long that imaginary dream was a security blanket I wasn't going to give up.

Until faced with a choice. Lose Jacob forever or blindly jump into the arms of a friend, knowing full well he was a Good Man but otherwise not getting any guarantees. I like guarantees. I like warranties and extended service plans and insurance and when I do something I want it to be forever. And I never told you that I knew damn well he would always rescue me but I was never sure if he could love me forever, if he was cut out for a long term life with me because he is a runner, an impulsive, adventurous guy or if I was a challenge for him, his faith and his curiosity. The moment I landed, however, I think I knew.

Jacob is my forever man.

I used to turn up my nose at people who joked about their 'starter' marriages, or people who seemingly divorced without having tried hard enough.But then again I still scoff at people who insist that opposite-sex best friends can be just friends, without tension of any kind. Because if there is one thing that did change drastically during the past year, it would be our friendship. Once consummated legitimately everything changed and the laid-back friend I could cuddle with became so intense, a formal protector/judge taking over where the hands-off little-input friend left off. Jacob took the power he was given and wielded it with enthusiasm and it was so difficult for us to both become used to how that felt. To say that it didn't swell his ego and bring a confidence to all aspects of his life would be underestimating his weaknesses. He can't let go of me. Ever.

I love it.

I am his weakness but in my love he finds his strength. I belong to him now and I am not strong enough to stand on my own but when I stand beside him I can do anything.

Such is my life, the way I want it. With Jacob.

A whole year behind us now and a hundred left to go.