She has been a constant source of strength and happiness to me through all the yoyoing emotions, the anger and frustration at official obstruction and various, barely-avoided financial disasters. The resolve and calm She has shown in the face of difficulties that at times seemed about to derail our plans, has helped keep the Voices in the Dark quiet (most of the time).
But it’s the powerful force of Her love for me, our love for each other, that I’m most grateful for.
I honestly believe that anyone with anything less than the total love for another person, that instant and complete connection that She and I shared from the moment that the Universe chose to give our paths a nudge, I believe they would have given in to despair long ago and never found the happiness they deserved.
One summer’s evening, in the early part of our journey of discovery, we were discussing (with a kind of wide-eyed wonder that I still feel today) what possible reason there could have been for me to so suddenly recognise Her for who She now so obviously was; My One. My Other Half.
Would we have been just as happy if we’d met by chance twenty years ago?
If my parents had moved to America when I was a kid, could we have been childhood sweethearts?
It seems not, no.
When I asked Her;
“How is it that I’ve known you for nearly three years and I’ve only recently realised how gorgeous you are, how strongly I feel about you?”
Her answer, delivered with the beautiful, serene smile I’ve come to so adore, was simply this;
“Because it wasn’t time.”
That was it.
The Universe had not yet decided that it was time for us to be together.
Maybe It was waiting for us to need, as well as want each other, but for whatever reason, It decided to allow us to see who we were to each other and I’ve felt it more strongly every day since.
It was this complete devotion and commitment to our relationship, right from the very start, that made up for any minor inconveniences like mere geography, timezones, video delay and the terrible loneliness of a long distance love affair.
It was knowing.
And that’s what kept me sane during the wait for a decision on Her application.
We had no communication from them for over a week and She had already decided by Saturday night to e-mail them on the Monday (this was the end of October) to get a progress report.
Then I got a message from Her on Sunday morning;
– I just sent you an email.
I hurriedly checked my inbox, my heart rate suddenly doubled, and found….
The world’s vaguest email:
“I understand that you have enquired as to the progress of your visa application. I have tracked the application and I can tell you that a decision has been made.
Your documents will be returned to you in…..blah blah blah”
Wait, wait, back up there a minute!
“…a decision has been made…” ?!?
What bloody decision, you sadistic bastards?!
I rang Her immediately;
“What does it mean? What does it mean?”
“I’m not sure, I woke up at three this morning and it was there. I didn’t understand it so I left it until I got up. It doesn’t tell us anything does it?”
Meanwhile, I’d read it again
“Hang on, hang on, the very last line in the final paragraph; “We strongly advise against booking pre paid travel or accommodation prior to receiving the visa” “…RECEIVING THE VISA!” That must mean you’ve got it. It has to, surely!?”
There was a pause while She re-read the email;
“Yes, you could read it like that couldn’t you”
There followed a certain amount of excitable conversation, Her rushing upstairs to show Her friend, who read it exactly the same way as I had, and me jumping up and down in our living room, crying, laughing and taking huge shuddering gulps of air in case I passed out from relief, excitement, emotional exhaustion or all three.
I stared at Her grinning face on the little screen, heard Her delighted laughter and then She said the words I had waited so long to hear;
“We’re coming home darling.”