We met at Starbuck's again which would become a habit. I had not seen him in about a week and I was missing him something fierce! I walked into Starbuck's and he was already at the counter ordering. He saw me as I walked in and his face lit up like a firework. I walked towards him with my arms outstretched and we hugged for the first time. We hugged each other so tight, as if we were each others lifelines and we never wanted to let go. And that is exactly what we were, healing balm to one another's souls.
It felt so good to be hugged. During Tim's illness it seemed as though we did not touch very often. As I have stated in previous blogs, he slept most of the time and our schedules were such that we just did not have a lot of time together and when we were together, we were discussing and taking care of business. During that time I came to realize just how important human touch is to our survival. Not just a handshake or a pat on the back, but a sincere, loving hug or carress is something that is vital to our mental, physical and spiritual health. It is a basic need. I recall one time in particular when Tim was alive, Zack came home on leave. We were standing in the kitchen and Zack reached out to hug me. I broke down into tears, starving for affection and human touch. I think Paul and I were both drinking in something that had been missing in our lives for a very long time......love and affection.
My heart was doing aerobics in my chest as we sat at a little table and sipped our coffees and chatted. At one point he began to stroke my arm and I had trouble focusing on what either one of us was saying, and then, he took my hand. I felt so giddy, like I was walking on clouds! I was a kid again!
He was on his way out of town for a funeral so our time was limited. He walked me out to my car and I can take you to the exact parking spot in front of Starbuck's where he took me in his arms and kissed me for the first time. A myriad of feelings and emotions exploded inside of me all at once. It felt like my first time at Disneyland, a marching band and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing the "Hallelujah Chorus" all at once. It was.............heaven on my lips.
I was shaking as I got into my car with his promise to see me later that night still ringing in my ears. This was it! I"M IN LOVE!! I wanted to shout it from the rooftops as I drove to my parents home. I could not believe it. The one man that I had rejected from the outset, the one who did not meet any of my criteria had stolen my heart. I was giddy with excitement and pure happiness. I smiled so much the muscles in my face ached. This was amazing stuff.
We burned up our phones texting for the rest of the day. He had felt it too. There were no words of love or marriage spoken as of yet, and that was okay. We were content with this newfound love that we felt, the excitement of discovery.
The plan was that later that evening after the funeral, that we would get together for dinner with his mother, sisters, nieces and nephews. I would be meeting them for the first time. I was nervous, like a schoolgirl. What would I wear? How should I do my hair? Would they be able to tell that we had kissed?