Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, where gray mists hid the tops of green forests, and deep snows crowned the sawtoothed peaks of rugged mountains, a young girl spotted a young boy.
“He’s different,” she said. “I want to get to know him.”
She did, and for a brief time they became boyfriend and girlfriend. The girl wanted him to like her more, to be with her always, but as a young boy, he wasn’t sure what to do with a young girl. To him, at his age, they seemed a lot like boys, only softer.
Soon he discovered, No. Girls are much more than that. And, oh my, there are so many others. “I must explore,” he thought.
So they went their separate ways and lived their separate lives. Each found love and laughter. Each celebrated victories, suffered stinging defeats and bitter losses, and on occasion shed lonely tears in the dark. They experienced life. He on one side of the land, she on the other.
They grew older, each eventually losing a loving spouse. So, after many decades, they found themselves alone, perhaps not lonely, but . . . alone. Separate. But she, in particular, remembered when she had first seen the young boy in the land of gray mists and snowcapped mountains and thought he was special.
So she wrote the young boy, now an elderly gentleman, and told him how she felt. She told him, “I fell in love with you so many years ago when we were young. And I never stopped loving you.”
Stunned and humbled and, oh yes, surprisingly happy, the boy—the man—said he would like to come visit her. So he journeyed across the land to spend time with her. Twice.
What he discovered amazed him: the young girl he’d parted ways with so many years ago had not aged. At least her character had not. He found her wonderfully beautiful, witty, intelligent, deeply sincere, and absolutely genuine.
They, in the vernacular, hit it off. They traded stories about the wonderful spouses they’d had and continued to respect, about their travels and adventures, about their achievements and failures. They laughed and kissed and hugged. And they laughed some more.
And despite one yawning, immeasurable difference, they realized they were soulmates, deeply bound together. They each had taken different paths, long and winding ones to be sure, to reach that awareness. And happily, when they arrived, they discovered a magical kingdom where time and distance did not exist, but a young boy and a young girl still did.
With the wisdom of many years behind them, they understood the hourglass of life might not tip too many more times for them, so they decided to become husband and wife, bound together forever. For better or for worse. Through sickness and in health.
They knew, of course, that their forever had become finite, and accepted that. And since they both had already been through better and worse, and sickness and health, they were not intimidated by the vagaries of life. All they wanted was for their limited forever to be spent together.
They will be married in September in a place called Kennewick, Washington. True, it is not the land of misty forests and snow capped peaks where they had grown up together—that lies on the other side of the mountains in this faraway land—but it is a sweeping realm of grassy steppes and flowing vineyards. And it is there that the young girl and young boy of yore will complete their forever. Together.
Oh, you wonder, the one yawning, immeasurable difference between them? She likes crispy bacon, he likes it soggy.