When The Love Is Good, You Wait
She grabbed my face with both of her hands, smiling so wide I thought her face would split in two.
“Megan,” she said.
“I’m so happy for you. When the love is good, you wait.”
Those were the words my Nonna spoke to me at my bridal shower a little over two years ago.
She gleefully attended the luncheon that my mother and my bridal party had prepared for me, prancing around the room as the sprightly, vivacious, ninety-two-year-old that she was at the time. She told everyone in attendance how grateful she was to be there for this day and how much she loved my future husband.
(And me, too.)
Nonna has always loved, love — and she has led her life through that lens.
She met my grandfather when she was sixteen, and yet, they didn’t marry until she was twenty-six years old.
A lot can happen in ten years, and a lot did happen to them and around them. World War II was the backdrop of their first encounter and a swirling force around them for the next couple of years, and then, in the middle of fighting for justice and their own love, they moved to The United States.
My grandfather came to The United States first before they were married. He asked my Nonna to wait for him — and wait, she did.
At the time, to be in your early twenties and unwed was something of social suicide — her family and friends thought her foolish to wait for him, reminding her that once someone goes over to The United States, they tend not to return.
She chose to ignore their whispers and their taunts and the rolling of their eyes. She chose not to quit on the love that she believed in — she chose not to quit on them. For her, she said it was better to be alone than in bad company.
And so, she waited.
For five years, she and my grandfather exchanged letters — he wrote to her of his new life in The United States and the dreams that he was hoping to build for the two of them. She wrote to him about the comings and goings of the small town they both knew and loved in Italy.
Eventually, they did come back.
And they spent the next sixty years of their lives together until my grandfather passed away.
When the love is good, you wait.
If your heart longs for love and hurts from loneliness, waiting can feel painful.
There will be times when it seems like the whole world is paired off like Noah’s Arc, parading around in their perfect little twos while you sit there, patiently waiting for someone to stand with, and share your life with, and live with for the rest of your days.
The loneliness can be paralyzing.
I know, I’ve been there.
I’ve winced at wedding invitations, avoided dinner parties, and wondered how I could not attend another bridal shower without hurting the people I loved while still keeping my own heart intact. I told myself more than once that perhaps the forever kind of love I wished for and hoped for and prayed for was not in the cards for me.
I get it, I do.
And yet, my understanding will not make the sting of the loneliness and longing any less. There aren’t any words that I can string together to make the pain you’re holding any easier, either.
Except maybe, just maybe, you’ll find hope in the words. Maybe you’ll find it there in the letters and these syllables and the sentences that I’ve strung together. If you’re in the season of waiting for your forever human, the one who you wish to grow old with, the person you want to call home and your greatest adventure, perhaps finding hope within these words will stop you from quitting.
Perhaps you’ll grab hold of the knowledge and the thought and the belief that there is love waiting for you.
Love is waiting for you, the imperfect person who wants to grow alongside another human.
Love is waiting for you, the hopeless romantic who believes in forever.
Love is waiting for you, with your quirks and your likes and the things that make you extraordinary.
You just haven’t found it yet — but when the love is good, you wait.