Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Is it better?

"It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all."

~Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1850

I first heard this quote when I was 13. I remember because I laughed at this ridiculous concept.
"How can you miss something you never had?" 13 year old me asked.
"Wouldn't it be better to not know?
To never have felt that heartache?"
I asked as I lay on my wrought iron daybed in my pink room, book shelves lining my walls, filled with Harlequin romances, Sweet Valley High, Babysitters Club, Sunfire Romances, Judy Blume, and anything else that made my little heart flutter.
You see, this notion echoed deep in my soul.
And it made me a little afraid.
It was my first real sense of fear toward Love.
Up until that point, Love had been as rose colored as the comforter I lay upon,
and the idea of Love was as warm and secure as that comforter.
But those words...
They left me cold.
How can this wonderful, most magnificent concept be associated with this terror that now creeped into my sheltered life?
Since that moment, I had always been leery of Love.
Oh sure, I loved a good romance, Hallmark commercials always made me sniffle, and what girl doesn't like pink, but Love, real Love, the kind that Lord Tennyson was anguishing about, I didn't want anything to do with it.
No sirree. No thank you.
But then, one day, out of the blue, my little heart fluttered once more.
It was a bit startling.
I had lived 25 years being just fine with superficial Love. It was safe.
And now this.
I didn't know how to handle it.
Luckily, he was patient. And kind. And warm.
And I felt safe.
For once, I felt secure.
And I let my little heart flutter.
And now...
Now I look back at that 13 year old freckle faced girl with the frizzy brown hair,
and I wonder if she was right all along?
Was she right to scoff at Lord Tennyson?
Is it better to have loved and lost?
In my heart, yes.
Yes, it is better.
Because those memories are inimitable and exceptional.
That time will forever live on because of those memories.
But it's my head that's the problem here.
It's that dang irrepressible teenager.
Logic dictates that she was right.
My head acknowledges this because it is witness to what my heart is going through.
If my silly little heart had never been allowed to flutter, would it miss what it never had?
So I'm back at square one: Is it better?
I truly don't know.
What I do know, is this:
I was loved.
I loved and was loved in return.
And that keeps my heart from shattering.
So maybe it can flutter once more.


Brandon and Erica said...

You don't know me...I hope you don't mind :-) This post was just too poignant for me not to delurk myself for.
I can't remember where I heard your story (possibly from another blogger I don't really know :), but I have been reading your blog since January.

Thank you for sharing your feelings and thoughts with the "blogosphere". I had cancer in 2007, just a month before I married my husband. I have to tell you that YOU are the strong one. My husband always wished that I didn't have to go through the radiation...where I was always wishing that I wouldn't have met him so that he wouldn't have to go through this with me. But, he still loved me. He still married me. You are such an inspiration, for loving Matt (who I know through BYU mutual friends :), for being by his side...for being strong.

Thank you for this beautiful post...you should write a book. You are an amazing writer!

Praying for you here in UT.

Allyson & Jere said...

Liz, that was beautiful and amazing. I still can't imagine for one moment going through what you have, and you've done it all with such dignity, grace and beauty. Thank you for sharing your feelings here and writing thhis post. Thank you for being YOU!

Natalie* said...

that was so incredibly poignant.

i'm crying in the back of rehearsal right now.....

you were SO loved. so completely. so fully.

can i link this?

Kate and Clark said...

you are my light. i love you.

Lola....L..O..L..A....lo--oh--luh! said...

Love is the best part of life. I think that we should all loveevery chance we get...no matter what.I wouldn't trade all of the love I have had....for no love at all. (did that make sence?)

Hey It's Di said...

Oh great! You got me bawling again!! There is nothing more amazing in the world than to really love and be loved. I can't imagine what you must go through every day but remember you are loved not only by Matt but by us all.

design gal said...

i'm so sorry for your loss- you don't know me- i found you through natalie hill

but i do believe you will love again :)

thanks for this amazing post

nicole hill gerulat said...


you're beautiful and i'm so glad our family has you. matt was so so very lucky.


7upkels said...

I don't know how I ended up running across this blog, but I'm so glad I did. This is truly one of the most beautiful things I've ever read. You are a brilliant writer, and the way you express your thoughts and feelings is inspiring. Thank you for writing.