Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So Close, no Matter How Far...

... couldn't be much more from the heart/forever trusting who we are/and nothing else matters" --Metallica (this is as close as jim and i get to having a song)

This post has been kicking around in my head for a while now, and I think it's time to let it out. In two weeks or so, Jim and I will have been dating for four years. In the space of these four years, we've been through more than some people go through in decades.

I don't talk about the very beginning of our relationship much, because it's complicated. I started dating Jim pretty quickly after I broke up with another guy that I'd been seeing for a few years. In all honesty, I started dating him for all the wrong reasons. I needed comfort, and Jim offered it. In the back of my mind, I had no idea that this would last very long, but it felt safe and good at the time.

So imagine my surprise, and my happiness, when this young man who I had simply liked, turned out to be a man that I could love, and a partner that I could count on. I've mentioned coming back to my parents' house from Reading, and the depression, the failures I dealt with. I'm not good at letting other people see me hurt, or letting other people in. But Jim wouldn't be pushed away, he refused to be left out. And that determination and unwavering support are a large part of the reason I am as whole and sane and balanced as I am today.

Jim is stubborn, and strong, and kind. He has a smile just for me that is so full of tenderness and love that I am carried away by it. Jim's mom raised him right, he's a gentleman. He can take anything with an engine apart, figure out what was keeping it from working, and put it all back together again without diagrams. He's a devious bastard when you play Scrabble against him, and he'll talk about his blue-collar upbringing til you think his family is a pile of hillbillies. He just doesn't want you to realize that he's got an amazingly analytical mind hiding under all that curly hair. Jim is the rock, the support that so many of his friends and family lean on. In an emergency, or even when there's a minor problem, Jim is the first person to get a call. He's cool and rational, and he surely doesn't want you to know that he's got a depth of feeling that would put poets to shame. He lives to fix things. He will go miles out of his way to pick up co-workers who need a ride, or to follow friends that might break down on the way home. He's funny, and vulgar, and has the gentlest hands. Jim's the friend that will be there to help change your tire, or to help you move in the city in August when he's only got one day off a week. He's got a soft spot for animals, and for kids in rough situations. He's learning to be social and to make small talk, and he's actually enjoying his efforts. Jim is--first, foremost, and above all--loyal. He won't hear someone speak ill of you, he won't ever betray you or let you down. And though Jim wouldn't like me to tell you this, he's forgiving, too. Not right away, and not before you have a good argument about something, but grudges are not for him.

From the day I found out about the alien spine baby, Jim was there to hold my hand. He would let me get all the fear and the worry out of my system, and calmly remind me that we would be okay. He went to every doctor's appointment and procedure with me, and he paid attention and asked the questions that I forgot to ask. He gave me my medications and fed me juice and soup, and was willing to leave me to wallow for just long enough before he made me get up and keep on going. When I needed a normal day, he made sure that's what we had. If I wanted an adventure, he hopped in the car with me. Jim's strength gave me courage. Even when we were discussing radiation therapy, it was a question of how we would handle it, not how I would deal with the situation. He consistently refused to admit that we couldn't handle whatever the outcome was. Jim actually went into a new job in the competitive market we're dealing with and told them he needed his third day of work off. The idea that he wouldn't wait through my surgery never even occurred to him. He drove for hours to see me while I was in the hospital, even though I was so drugged up I hardly knew he was there some nights.

Jim, you are not just a friend or a lover, or even some paltry boyfriend. You are my partner, my equal, my love. We're not two halves of one whole, but two complete people in our own right. Together, we're on hell of a pair. I am sure there will be fights, I know there will be more hard times, and I'll bet that we never get to be rich or famous. But I also know that we'll get past the fights and that we can handle the hard times. And I imagine we can get along just fine without ending up rich or famous. I am proud of us. I feel like we've grown up into some pretty decent people together, and that we're each better together than we would've been apart. We temper each other, and we play off our different strengths. And I couldn't replace you if I wanted to. Who else is this prepared for the zombie invasion?

6 comments:

Bells said...

Oh Em. This was beautiful. A loving, gorgeous tribute to a guy we all know here as your rock.

Monique said...

Em, you have me snivelling on the lounge. That is one hell of a beautiful post. I am awed at how you guys have carried each other through this little ordeal. You are blessed to have each other methinks!

Roxie said...

Yayyy!!! You take care of that man! Good ones are hard to find. And he's darn lucky to have fouund someone who appreciates his sterling qualities. Good on you both!

Rose Red said...

I love the open and thoughtful way you write about the people you love. He's a goody, that Jim.

Galad said...

Bells is right - wonderful tribute. I thought Jim was an awesome guy before your post. Now - well wow!

Lene Andersen said...

That was beautiful. Thanks for sharing you and Jim's story with us.