"Love"--who even knows what it means, in the context of two people attempting a lifelong journey in it--isn't constant, or dependable, or stable, or never-changing.
And not, sadly, everlasting.
Once it goes away, it does not come back. At least, not in the form it was in when it left.
Forty-year love is more glue than magnetism... The irresistible attraction that came over us at the beginning of the journey has changed over time to steel fibers of shared history, rendering us inseparable. The romance is gone...the interdependency is everything.
After 40 years of everything that the lives of two people can throw at it--even two "normal", boring, traditional and unadventurous people like my husband and me--the thing that binds us bears little resemblance to the awesome power that drew us together in the first place.
And I have found that forgiveness does not seem to be a part of this old love.
I thought it could be. Who doesn't want to believe that love, once chased away, can be brought back, good as new? Who doesn't think that if you've angered or disappointed the one you love, all it will take is a little change here, a little backtracking there, to make it all better and get back to the love (you thought) you always had?
But, no... That's not what happens. There is, apparently, no going back.
There are only moments of clarity--shocking moments, heart-wrenching moments--when you look at this misshapen, stained, worn and tattered thing that you have between you, that was once new and bright and fierce...and you see it for what it is.
And you either fold it up, put it back in your heart and keep going...
...or you decide it's not enough to keep you going anymore.