There Are No Rules When You Fall in Love

Posted: February 14, 2015 in A Little Less Profound
Tags: , , ,

The Airborne Toxic Event umbrellaBy Glen

For Christie

On the 23rd anniversary of our first date, you asked me if I would’ve asked you if I’d known what would follow.

You didn’t mean the good stuff: the romance and the adventure and the four wonderful kids and the triumphs and the building of a life together.

You meant the tough stuff: the first gut-wrenching stillbirth and the time you almost died and the second gut-wrenching stillbirth and the news that our beautiful baby girl had Down syndrome and the slow realization that our adopted son’s special needs were more challenging in real life than they read on paper.

So many things that we didn’t choose to write into our love story. Things we never imagined; not in our worst nightmares.

There are no rules when you fall in love
You just take what you get and you hope it’s enough

On the 2nd anniversary of our adoption of The Boy, you asked me if I would’ve done it if I’d known what would follow.

You didn’t mean the good stuff: the ear-splitting grins and the endless cuddles and the maturity it’s instilled in our girls and the sense of accomplishment and the hilarity of his latest escapade.

You meant the tough stuff: the extreme lack of sleep and the worries over his health and the overwhelming hyperactivity and the guilty suspicion that our other children are getting short-changed by the sheer amount of attention he requires.

But even more than that, you meant this latest wicked, cancerous curveball that life has thrown at us. This sick cosmic joke that has reduced us from living to merely surviving and redefined romance as the willingness to administer the late night dose of meds.

I said I don’t have much
You said I like what you’ve got

The truth is, I don’t know what 16-year old me would have done if he’d known what was coming. Maybe he would have bolted in the opposite direction as fast as his legs could carry him. Who could blame him?

And I don’t know what the me of three years ago would have done if he’d known what was coming. Actually, that’s a lie. I have a pretty good idea what he’d have done, and I’m not particularly proud of it.

But life isn’t lived with the benefit of foresight. There are no rules when you fall in love – or if there are, life doesn’t feel compelled to follow them. All we can do is offer up everything we’ve got, meager as it may be and shrinking by the day, and hope that it’s enough.

Maybe we’re asking the wrong questions. Maybe it doesn’t matter what the 16-year-old me or the me of three years ago would have done were they clairvoyant. Maybe the real question is this: from the vantage point of Today, would I choose to do it all again, knowing how perilous the journey would be?

Today, I say, ‘Yes.’

Because you are worth it. We are worth it.

Because it’s better to love whether you win or lose or die
It’s better to love whether you win or lose or die
It’s better to love, and I will love you till I die

Glen, Fan of The Airborne Toxic EventGlen is the founder and editor of This Is Nowhere. He’s grateful for an understanding wife and kids who indulge his silly compulsion to chase a band all over the Pacific Northwest (and occasionally beyond) every time the opportunity arises.

  1. It’s a privilege to know both of you, even in this dopey way thru machines, & I hope to meet you someday…it would be an honor to meet a couple who have stood by each other for decades despite such hardships, trials, & challenges, considering many couples break up over much less. Thank you for sharing your feelings so openly. The way you write about your wife is beautiful, & your pieces are stellar & unparalleled for a “fan” blog. Much love to both of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Shyra aka Lady Rabin says:

    Wow. Speechless. Beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lzakov says:

    Wow that is beautiful! And so moving. Thank you for sharing. 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  4. jcstoller says:

    My god. Just incredible, Glen. I’m so deeply honored to have met you and Christie and to have you both in my life. Your family is truly an inspiration. Besides which, that’s one damn fine piece of writing! I would say you are both quite blessed to have each other. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. emily says:

    This is so beautiful Glen. Thank you for being so honest in how you write about the difficulties of parenting and well, life in general. It’s especially encouraging to read as life hasn’t been all that pretty for us lately. “All we can do is offer up everything we’ve got, meager as it may be and shrinking by the day, and hope that it’s enough.” – love this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beautiful beyond the words you posted.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Debbie g. says:

    One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read! True, honest love is a rare gift; it may not be easy, but is worth the struggle and the pain. You are very blessed to have found each other. May your family have a very happy, loving Valentine’s Day!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. treendabean says:

    This is just a gorgeous thing to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Tdub says:

    Hey Glen,

    I wanted to write and just say thank you for your blog, for your efforts and that of all your contributors. You sure seem to have a lot going on in life, and I guess, we all do. Regardless, over and above all the twists and turns you take the time to do this blog for fans of TATE like me.

    I was first introduced to TATE by my best friend Kirby when he sent me the link to the Vimeo (or YouTube) of *Sometime Around Midnight*, while I was at an Elton John concert (of all places). A couple of months later he and I travelled to Vancouver (from Winnipeg) to take in the TATE show at The Commodore on Tuesday, June 7th, 2011. I won’t attempt the great descriptive narratives that you share with all the blog readers (including me) except to say it was a goddamn magical night. We showed up early and stood in the alley and listened to the entire sound check. It was pretty frickin clear and it was like a second (first?) free concert. The roadies came out, found out where we were from and eventually the guys from Mona (opening act) came out to say hi also. Pretty cool. Being there so early, we were first in line out front and we were literally front and centre just below Mikel’s mic stand. Unlike today, I didn’t know all the words to the songs, all the melodies, guitar riffs, bass lines and back beats. Nor of course, Anna’s mesmerising violin or keyboard work. Still, best show I have ever experienced, bar none. The next morning before heading back to Winnipeg, I found out my Mom had pancreatic cancer via a call from my sister back home (Regina, Saskatchewan). We lost her 15 months later.

    It was weird, no, difficult going from such an amazing experience of the TATE event the night before, to getting that call, and all that followed, the next morning. Timing. Seems to be everything to everyone, and your post today (for your wife) just made me think of all we have to be grateful for. I am really grateful for your blog, it really keeps me up to date on the band, and even your musings about life too.

    So, thanks again. I’m sure you get tons of these emails but what the hell. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours. Take care,


    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow. Thanks, Trevor, for your encouraging comment. It is much appreciated. June 7, 2011 in Vancouver was my first TATE show too! I was about 10 steps to your left, camped out in front of Anna’s keyboard.

      Very sorry for the loss of your mom. All the best to you.


  10. Matt says:

    Wow…this is beautiful. I have a lot of respect for you and the inspiring way you endure your hardships. It’s true that we don’t always get to choose our battles. But what’s important is that we keep on fighting instead of looking over our shoulder wondering what we could have done to end up somewhere else. Thank you for sharing your mind with us, you are truly an inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Reblogged this on So Here's Us… and commented:
    I’m going to let my husband speak, for a change. Just a few of the many things I love about him: his sharp mind, his brilliant writing and his fierce devotion to our family.

    Life is hard. And love especially. “All we can do is offer up everything we’ve got, meager as it may be and shrinking by the day, and hope that it’s enough.”


  12. […] There Are No Rules When You Fall in Love – A cheesy little piece that I wrote for my wife on Valentine’s Day, with a little help […]


  13. Kristin says:

    I’m sorry this is the first time I’m reading this. What a beautiful note to your wife. Even with all the difficulties along the way, the love you have for each other seems unparalleled. I hope I’m lucky enough to find something like that one day.

    Liked by 1 person

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