In honor of Valentine’s Day, I thought I would talk about some of the greatest love stories I know of. If you are expecting Romeo and Juliet, Cleopatra and Marc Anthony, or other love stories along those lines, you won’t find those here. These love stories are better because they are real, they are about real people who have been able to find and hold onto what I considered to be pure love. When I use the term ‘Pure Love’, I am referring to the kind of love that often starts out as friendship and that never dies, the kind of love where you truly want what is better for the other person, even if sometimes that means they might not be with you. I hope you enjoy these real life love stories.
The first story I want to share is the story of Jimmy and Elizabeth. Jimmy and Elizabeth met in high school. How I have heard it is that for Jimmy, it was very close to ‘Love at First Sight’. I am not completely sure how quickly after they met Jimmy and Elizabeth started dating. What I do know is that they during their high school years, they dated for at least a year, and that during that time, Jimmy fell in love with Elizabeth. I believe that Elizabeth also fell in love with Jimmy during that time period, but since she proceeded to break Jimmy’s heart, it is hard to say for sure. After Elizabeth broke up with Jimmy, she apparently continued to date other people while although Jimmy did occasionally go out a date with another girl, he never truly got over Elizabeth. To be fair, I have to say that Elizabeth was dealing with some rather large issues during that time, and that did influence her decision to break up with Jimmy. Jimmy knew about theses issues, and was the first person to defend Elizabeth when family members try to tell him she wasn’t worth it. That’s not to say that it didn’t hurt Jimmy to watch Elizabeth seemingly move on without him. What hurt Jimmy the most was to watch Elizabeth continue to struggle with her own self-worth and for him not to be able to help her see the amazing girl he saw when he looked at her. After graduating high school, Elizabeth and Jimmy went their separate ways, but would still see each other during breaks from school. Sometime during those four years, they developed a friendship that had never really been part of their relationship before. During the last year of college, Elizabeth had a life-changing experience that helped her to finally truly be able to tackle the issues she had been dealing with for years. During that time, Elizabeth and Jimmy’s relationship changed from friendship to the beginning of a long distance relationship. After that, Elizabeth still had some reservations about whether she was good for Jimmy, but Jimmy didn’t give up. Jimmy kept telling Elizabeth how much he loved her and how amazing she was, and that he wanted her in his life forever. Today, Jimmy and Elizabeth have been married for almost three years, and are happier than either of them have ever been with or without each other. They support and love each other through whatever life sends their way, and their future looks very bright.
The second story is the story of Cyndi and Chris. Cyndi and Chris had known each other since childhood, but it was when Cyndi was in high school that they first truly became friends. Due to the eight year age difference, their relationship stayed at the friendship level for most of Cyndi’s high school years, but for those of us who spent time around them during those years, it was obvious that it could only lead to love. One of my favorite things about their relationship was their ongoing friendly feud about football. Cyndi was a diehard Cowboys fan while Chris was a diehard Steelers fan. I think that when they teased each other about football was when I really saw the beginning of their future romantic relationship. To some the teasing might have looked like sibling teasing, but since I have an older brother I was able to pick up on the difference, maybe even before they did. I left the town they lived in before they actually started dating, but from what I saw of both of them in other relationships, I’m sure that the early part of their relationship was very sweet. I saw them again a few years after they got married, and watching them talk about the house they were fixing up was one of the sweetest things I ever saw. I don’t think I have ever seen two people more in love with each other than I did that day. It wasn’t really the romantic part that I saw that day, although I am sure that was there also, it was the genuine love and respect for all the things that made them the unique people that they were that I saw that day. I believe that may be the rarest form of love you can see, the kind of love that exists even if there is never anything more. A few years after that they had a daughter, and a few years after that a son came along. Everything seemed to be perfect for Cyndi, Chris, and their young family, but within the year, Chris was diagnosed with a form of blood cancer. Chris went through two separate rounds of treatment, one of which seemed promising, but ultimately he lost his battle with cancer. It is devastating to all of us that knew Chris that he was taken so young, especially for Cyndi and their kids. I believe that Cyndi would not trade the time that she had with Chris for anything in the world though, for with Chris she got to experience the kind of love that most of can only dream about.
The last story I have to tell you is the story of Albert and Nellie, and is quite literally a story about love for a lifetime. Albert and Nellie met when Nellie was around 18 and Albert was about 23. She was spending the summer on her grandparents ranch and he was working at least for the season. Everything I’ve heard about the beginning of their relationship has been third hand information, so I can only assume about how it truly started. From what I have heard at the end of the summer when Albert discovered that he would not only be leaving the ranch, but also the state, he asked Nellie to marry him and move back to his family’s farm with him. The story goes that Nellie said “Sure, I have nothing else to do anyway”. In this day and age, that may not seem like the best start to a relationship, but since this love story began in the early 1900s, it was not actually that abnormal. Within the year of their marriage, they had moved back to Albert’s hometown planning to help his brothers with the family farm only to find that his brothers had sold the farm out from under him. Albert was able to find work in the auto industry which was very good for the couple as during the next five years they had three children. Their second child, unfortunately, did not live long enough to meet his little sister. Their lives continued as most married couples lives do through the parenting and empty nest years until Albert’s mid eighties when his and Nellie’s deteriorating health caused them to move close to their daughter and her husband. They continued to live in that small cottage until Albert’s death at the age of 97, at which point Nellie moved into a nursing home due to her health issues. She stayed in that nursing home until her death five years later, also at 97, and she missed Albert every day during those five years. Those who saw Albert and Nellie’s relationship during it’s progression tell of a love that was full of mutual admiration and respect that was truly made to last a lifetime.
These are just a sampling of the amazing love stories around us. There are at least three others that I believe either are or will become as great as those I just told you. They are stories about overcoming illness or how one person in the relationship was able to bring about the best in the other person just by being themselves. I didn’t talk about those stories because they are not ones that I know as well or have not been written completely yet. This Valentine’s Day, I hope that you are also able to see the examples in your lives of great love stories, and that maybe you can even be part of one for yourself or someone else.
enamorarse es oportunidad, permanecer en el amor es una elección