Authors: Victoria Lexington
When I was a kid, the same scenario played out over and over again. I’d have my head in the refrigerator looking for something, and unable to find it, I’d ask my mom where it was. She’d get mad. Every single time she found what I thought was lost. In her “you’re a dumbass” tone, she’d say, “It’s right here. It’s right under your nose!”
Her words echoed in my heart. It was always right there. My happiness was exactly where I had left it. My love was exactly where it was supposed to be. I was just looking in all the wrong places.
My almost-affair with Nick had brought me some much needed perspective. I realized I was too close to cheating; the lines of right and wrong had become muddied.
My marriage had become like standing too close to a painting. I couldn’t see the beauty right in front of me. I needed to take a few steps back so that each little section didn’t look like a mess of indistinguishable colors. When I stepped back, only then did I see what had been there the entire time: the truth.
Braden was not perfect, and our marriage was not perfect. Some colors were too close together, blacks and whites made unrecognizable greys. But when you blended all the imperfe
ctions and didn’t scrutinize every flaw, there was true beauty. Ours was the kind of love that was timeless. Like looking at a Seurat painting, ours was the kind of love that illustrated that the big picture was infinitely more important than the tiny specks.
I realized that real love wasn’t about sex or what “might have been” or the luster of something new. Real love didn’t always sparkle and shine, but it would always be there. True love held your hand when your mother took her last breath and your baby took her first.
Through thick and thin, you’d always have a hand to hold. And if you were lucky, very lucky, you’d still be holding that hand during his last breath . . . or yours.
My back porch was calling my name. I grabbed a wine glass and a bottle of Chardonnay and sat on my favorite wicker rocking chair. I stared out at the beautiful sun setting. It was a go
rgeous evening, not a cloud in the sky. It reminded me of the day my grandpa passed away. There in the distance, out of the corner of my eye, I saw our vibrant red rose bush slowly moving with the wind.
Finally, after so many years of his words nestling in my heart, I understood what my grandpa meant. My happiness would be as easy as breathing. I got to choose. And as the breeze rushed through my hair, I swear it was like Grandpa gently pushing my bangs out of eyes so he could kiss me softly on the head, just one more time.
Maybe Grandpa was wrong after all; maybe life was sunshine and roses. You just had to know where to look.