Apparently, "encore bride" is what I am to become. It is horrifying to me that I am a cliche before I even get going on my new life. It's a title that gives me pause, and frankly, scares me. What is an encore but begging for more?
This is all about me and not about the man I love. I realize that. I made such a huge mistake in my first marriage and I'm not wholly over it, and yet there is a man who loves me in spite of my fear and errors. I can hardly get over it. I am as fascinated by observing this change, this new life unfolding, as I am in love with it. I can't get over that I was so willing to accept anything less. What was wrong with me? I feel like I've just been cured of an incurable disease. And, I don't know exactly how to take this second lease on love.
He, this man of mine, is doing everything right that my first husband did wrong. He is at once strong and capable and tender and unsure, and also willing for me to be strong and capable and tender and unsure. He knows himself, and he knows what is right and what is wrong. He knows what he's capable of and he has self-discipline. He's wise without having to be right. His moral center guides him in every decision he makes. He doesn't do anything he doesn't want to do, and still he helps me and supports me and does just about everything I ask. He is not afflicted with the "good boy" syndrome. He doesn't need my approval for anything. Yet, he approves of everything about me.
It makes me unfathomably sad for that first guy who is simply a child in some strange way, unequipped to meet a woman like me. Isn't that stupid that I feel sad for my ex-husband who abused my love of him? It's like everything I wished for from that boy was impossible and out of his range and it's heartbreaking for him.
I really think "encore" is the wrong word. It implies an attachment to something that has passed somehow, "do it again!" No. I never want to do it again the way I did it the first time. Sure, I did some things right. I have two beautiful children to prove that I loved deeply, but I don't want to be foolish with my love ever again. It is the elixir of life, my love is, and it was pearls before swine the first time around. This time, this time I want to give my love to the person who appreciates the pearl of my life, that I have turned these abrasions into something of value and beauty.
This man of mine came to sit with me when I had pneumonia, leaving a job site early. He sat with my son when he had pneumonia, too, because I couldn't while I was recovering myself. This man of mine sends roses and chocolates unexpectedly. He's taken on learning tango and it's not an easy dance. He's looking for work in my state, and leaving a life that he has been building since 1990 in Atlanta. All of these little things stack in his favor and work on my fear and errors until I begin to believe that they really don't matter anymore.