I first met him at a four-week long summer program; I knew he was the one…or so I thought. Then he didn’t return the phone call. Then the letter came, and I knew he was the one. Then I didn’t return the phone call. Then a year passed …and another.
One day the phone rang with his voice at the other end, soft yet deep as I remembered it. He said to me, “The more I try to forget you, the more you remain in my heart.” By this time my heart was not sure what to think. Was he being sincere or only feeling the pangs of loneliness that hit all single people every once in a while? He continued, “Be daring. Come visit me. I will send you the ticket.”
Two weeks later I boarded the plane from San Antonio, Texas, to Chicago, Illinois, not knowing what to expect. He picked me up at the airport. I said nothing for the first hour. It was a rather surreal experience. Here he was: the one. Or not!
He took me to eat tortas (Mexican sandwiches) at a little Mexican restaurant en la veintiseis (26th street). I was still analyzing the situation and not knowing how vulnerable to allow my heart to be. He told me stories about growing up on a ranch in Mexico and watching his grandfather. I smiled and played with my food. Then he stopped, mid-sentence and said, “I am getting really nervous because you are not saying anything.” I smiled and looked down.
He said, “I know I hurt you a long time ago and if there is anyway I can make it up to you I will because I want to know who you have become in these two years. And, I would like to be part of who you will be in two more.” There it was…the vulnerability I searched for and needed. Through the truth in his eyes I saw his humanity and like Christ, his divinity.
It wasn’t out of a fairytale. It hasn’t been happily ever after because only a fool would enter into a committed relationship five states in distance. I should be committed, not the relationship.
Through him and our relationship, I have come to further understand a lot of mysteries of my faith tradition. We live in continual process of life, death, and resurrection.
We have Garden of Eden times when all is right with the world and the sun rises to a glorious new day. We have agony in the garden moments when a naïve fantasy of the other is stripped away because we are human and hurt one another.
But with his enduring patience and the grace of God we always come to resurrection when the roses bloom through the snow, and the bright red of new life in our relationship yields a new understanding of who we are individually, in relation to one another, and with God. I have stopped asking if he is or isn’t the one and have started enjoying the journey of discovery.