“Simply Pretend that You Can Build Them Again…”


My favorite quote on Love comes from the great wordsmith, Mark Twain. 
“Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.”
I was writing last week about the insecurity in the face of life’s challenges and how hard it can be to deal with them.  I think the areas of sex and intimacy highlight how important physical relations can be for one’s self confidence.  One of the worst feelings is a sense of self-disgust, and we all take in a lot of our self-image from how people, and family in particular, act towards us. 
Is there a worse feeling than thinking your spouse sees mostly your condition when they see you?  Who wants this to be the first thing their spouse thinks of when thinking about them?  True or projection of fears, how does one move beyond these feelings?
So often with chronic illness in the family, it seems easy for the desire to be lost in the day-to-day bustle and hassles.  It is easy to think the love felt for each other will always endure.  It is easy to allow feelings of exhaustion crowd out expressions of enthusiasm.  What happens when expressing these feelings comes with a load of expectations?  Worse, what happens when one side thinks the expressions are obligations?  Who would want that?  The spousal relationships should be a source of strength and rejuvenation, a source of energy not a drain or a worry. 
Having children with special needs is not very different.  I was at a seminar last year where the speaker quoted a stat saying almost 60% of parents of children with special needs divorce.  I am torn on the stat as that is not terribly different from everyone else, but at the same time, it underscores a trap in which it seems easy to fall.    
My wife and I have long been in the expressed opinion Valentine’s Day should be how we treat each other every day, but taking this approach walks a dangerous line.  Over the years, my thoughts have tended towards this line of thought being backwards.  I think it better to believe every day should be like Valentine’s Day with rushes of intimacy in a glance, a smile or those wonderful moments of physical intimacy.
For all those finding illnesses in the family have taken some of the luster from their relationships, I will end with words from another great wordsmith, Paul Simon:
Hang on to your hopes, my friend.
That is an easy thing to say,
But if your hopes should pass away
Simply pretend that you can build them again.
  • A Hazy Shade of Winter
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4 thoughts on ““Simply Pretend that You Can Build Them Again…””

  1. Thank you.

    A couple of months later, I still go back to this post as one of my favorites. I often have a hard time expressing myself in the mad crush of the day to day. I just hope there are always times of reflection to remember, celebrate and relive/rekindle the foundation upon which our family survives.

    Truth told though, I don’t think J has ever read this. lol At least once written I can try to insert them into random moments and appear romantic. I actually thought of printing this and putting inside a card for our anniversary next week…

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