There has been one person in my life who has loved me romantically ... unconditionally, truly, and without limits. My husband, now ex. Today is what would be our 20th anniversary.
Kendall stood by through all of my ups and downs and zig-zags. He saw me through jealousy and fear and insecurities. He held my hand and reassured me when I was so scared that I began pushing him away. I pushed and pushed and shoved and kicked, not even knowing myself why I would do such a thing. He didn't know either, but he found a value in me. He saw something I was never able to see in myself and to this day that person is buried so deep within that I'm afraid she'll never again surface.
I dragged Kendall through hell with me and many times my life was even too much for me to bear. There wasn't one time in our almost 18 years that he considered leaving. Even once I realized I was gay and we decided that we should probably divorce, he admitted that if I changed my mind, he would remain married to me. Some may say he was weak, but I believe he exhibited strength beyond any I have witnessed. He found the value in a person (me) and was dedicated to love.
My husband suffered through things because of me and I wish I had had better control to save him from it. The fact is that I didn't. I struggled for a long time and seemingly there wasn't an end in sight, but one day we woke up and the light shone so bright that all we could do was bask in it. The insecurities vanished and we were left with love. We were able to move forward and never look back. Of course there were other struggles along the way, namely lesbianism, but the love was true. The love was divine.
When there is a time limit to behave a certain way or else, without little help from the other side to help ease my insecurities ... well ... well.
I know that a love once existed where I'M not too hard to love and that I'M actually worth walking alongside on a journey. But that love is gone. It has transitioned into a deep and abiding friendship, which I'm grateful for, but that type of love is no more.
I will hold on to the almost 18 years that I experienced what most girls would give anything for. That love came from the most sincere of minds, the strongest of souls, and the kindest of hearts. I would never change the fact that I'm gay. I love knowing who I am and being true to that, but I will never again know a significant love like I shared with Kendall. I will cherish the time that I was able to experience it, knowing that it's a once in a lifetime sort of love; knowing that I have had my turn and will stop while I'm ahead.
I love you, Kendall, with everything that I am and with the most genuine gratitude a person can feel.