Love is love

Love is love

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buy you a drank lyrics This story begins with a long layover at the Minneapolis airport. I found a seat in a quiet corner of the waiting area near a man who was probably looking for the same. After a few moments of checking my itinerary, arranging my bags and sipping the much needed coffee I looked up at him and we smiled.

Our conversation began the usual way. Where are you heading? Do you have a long layover? Travel often? As we settled in, we talked about work, shared that we had children…me gushing about my two sons, Daniel beaming about his three daughters. Normal acquaintance chatter. Before long, as it always does, he began to share more personal aspects of his life. He was widowed for many years. He went on to tell the details of her story and his commitment to raise his daughters as a single father. Afterwards I asked why he chose not to date or meet someone new, it had been so long.

Daniel explained he had been in love twice in his life. Once with his wife and, before that, his college roommate, who happened to be male. He smiled at my complete lack of poker face as the telltale quizzical line surfaced between my eyebrows. There’s no choice but authenticity when people can read it before you open your mouth. I tried to explain my face. First, I’m in no way judging him. I just had never understood bisexuality. I understood loving the same sex and loving the opposite sex and the attraction to one sex or another, but couldn’t quite wrap my head around both.

He was patient with me. He explained how both relationships had been complete – where his love was whole-hearted, his needs were met and there was the closeness and intimacy you would expect in any loving relationship. I asked more questions, both personal and general. I wanted to understand…really understand. I wondered if I would be open to falling in love with a man who loved both men and women. I honestly wasn’t sure at that moment. I thought that I might always wonder if the man would feel he was missing something, like I wasn’t enough. I shared this with him, his smile showing compassion, and he said “Love is love, Jane. It doesn’t matter if you’re attracted to men or women or both, what matters is being fully in love.”

When our conversation ended, I still wasn’t fully grasping his perspective, but appreciated it so much. He said talking with me felt like the kind of connection he’d had with his wife, something he hadn’t felt yet since her death. I was grateful for this beautiful experience, for both of us.

Our conversation worked in the back of my mind for months, sometimes surfacing for conscious contemplation, other times, just hibernating deep in the processing banks of my brain. And then one day, I realized why I met Daniel in a quiet corner of an airport waiting area. Someone I’ve known for years chose to confide in me they have come to the conclusion that they love men and women equally. Their hope is to one day fall in love and get married and will be happy if it’s a man or a woman. And without a furrowed brow, without a hundred questions, I was able to say ‘Love is love. When the right person comes along, you’ll know it’.

I’m tearing up as I write this post. So thankful for random strangers who cross my path at just the right time to teach me important lessons. I am so grateful to have had that conversation and to be able to be who I was at that moment for the person in my life. Thank you Daniel.

 

This article has 2 comments

  1. Jelena

    I enjoyed reading this post, Jane, your writing style is precious, and it gives magic to the whole story. I feel as though I  had met all those people through your stories. 🙂
    This teaching about love is so timely for me, along with Brian’s e-mail about Brene Brown’s “The gifts of imperfection” that I just read, too. Such valuable lessons, for sure. And I really admire you for making connections with people so easily, and collecting wisdom along the way. It’s something I need to try sometimes 🙂 Just today I talked about it with my boyfriend. He’s a spontaneous person as well, and he’s encouraging me to be more open with unknown people, aka strangers.

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