I have had five first loves in my lifetime. Each one was different, yet each one was the same.
My first, first love was my high school sweetheart. He is also my ex-husband and my daughter’s biological father. My first impulse is to say that I fell in love with him because I was young and stupid, which is partly true. I was attracted to him because he was a manly man, very handsome and nice. My young heart loved these things about him. However, I think I was more in love with the idea of growing up, getting married and having babies.
My second first love was my daughter, Jennifer. When I first held her in my arms, our love link was so strong that I could not tell where I ended and she began. For the first time in my life, I felt and understood the true meaning of unconditional love. I felt emotion so pure that it had no limits. Our connection went beyond words . . . beyond this earthly dimension.
My third first love was me. That’s right, me. I first truly understood what it means to love oneself when I found the courage to leave my abusive husband in 1977.
After we separated, a friend bought me a turquoise and mother-of-pearl ring that I had admired but could not afford. The day I received that gift, I removed my wedding ring from my left hand and replaced it with my new turquoise ring. At that moment, I promised to always be true to myself and to love, honor and cherish myself in good times and in bad times for all the days of my life.
In 1981, I married my fourth first love, Steve – the man I was born to spend my life with. He is the first and only man that I have truly loved. Although it is a different kind of indescribable love than I found with my daughter, it is still purely unconditional. Our connection goes beyond words . . . beyond this dimension.
On the day we were married, I transferred my turquoise ring from my left hand to my right. It remains on my finger today as a reminder of self-love and the promises that I made to myself all those years ago.
The ring that Steve placed on my left hand thirty years ago is a simple white gold band. It signifies our simple eternal love. I say our love is simple because it is natural and easy. It is where we belong – together and in love. It’s as simple as that.
When I was young, friends would become blood sisters or brothers by pricking their finger with a pin and squeezing it to draw blood. They would rub their bleeding fingers together, blending the blood to be forever connected. Although Steve and I are forever connected through our hearts, somehow, like blending blood, our rings seal that connection. A ring on his hand, a ring on mine – the same, yet different – together, yet separate – just like us. After I divorced my first husband, I swore I would never marry again. My simple band of gold signifies the deep love that inspired me to risk my heart.
Now, I will move on to my fifth first love, my granddaughter. Elle is the heart of my heart. The first time I held her in my arms, I knew that she was a perfect extension of my other precious love, Jennifer. With Elle, I found a more powerful bond than I could have ever imagined. It feels as though the power of all my first loves merged and poured into this cherished gift, creating an explosion of emotion beyond words . . . beyond this dimension.
I will be forever grateful for my first, first love. My short journey with my ex-husband started me down the fateful path that led me to my other treasured loves. Each love is different, yet each one is the same. All connections beyond words . . . beyond this dimension . . . emotion so pure that it has no limits.
Alayne Kay Christian is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature and a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She is a writer, certified life coach, and proud grandmother to six-year-old Elle. Her award-winning picture book “Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa” was born out of the struggle and longing she experienced as a long-distance grandparent. Her dedication to ensuring that Elle felt the love of her grandparents across the miles drove Alayne to pursue and realize publication.
Born in the Rockies, raised in Chicago, and now residing in Dallas, Texas, Alayne’s writing shares the creative spirit and kinship with nature that organically resides in her heart.
For more information about Alayne, her experience as a long-distant grandparent, or “Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa” visit http://www.butterflykissesgrandparents.com
Emily loves to visit Grandma and Grandpa. Like most grandchildren, she gets lots of affection and the freedom to do what she wants. But when their visit comes to an end, Emily is saddened by thoughts of missing her grandparents. To comfort her, Grandma and Grandpa give Emily a homemade book. The gift teaches Emily to use her imagination, memory, and natural surroundings to feel close to her grandparents. In the end, Emily surprises her grandparents with a gift of her own, showing them that children are not the only ones who can use nature, memories, and imagination as comfort when they are missing those they hold dear.
Whether they are miles or countries apart, “Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa” helps bridge the long-distance gap between children and their faraway family members.“Butterfly Kisses for Grandma and Grandpa” is available in bookstores and libraries and at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Butterfly-Grandma-Independent-Publisher-Recipient/dp/0981493807/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1327415292&sr=1-1