LUGGAGE Lady

Contemplations about Life, Love, & the Pursuit of Meaningful Existence…

Archive for the category “Marriage”

Love Always Wins

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“If love is universal, no one can be left out.” ~ Deepak Chopra

💕

Celebrating sixteen years of perfectly imperfect marriage this week, conflicted feelings wash over me. While I’m thrilled for my gay friends who finally share the right to marry in this country, the disrespectful dialogue generated by the ruling has been bewildering. Although derogatory commentary is sadly the norm these days, hearing the hypocritical roar from the so-called “religious” sector hollowed my soul.

Shouldn’t we be focusing on treating one another with dignity rather than groveling over marital definitions? After all, we’re an extremely diverse nation with a myriad of beliefs. Can’t we simply agree to disagree and respectfully move forward? Maybe even celebrate our differences and learn a wee bit along the way??

Heck, my husband and I said our vows on a beach and chose not to have children. In the eyes of some, we’re not “truly” married. Thankfully, we never had to go to court to argue whether our love was worthy of the marriage label.

With negativity dampening spirits aplenty, I keep returning to what I believe is a universal covenant:

I am a mere human, placed upon this earth to judge no one!

As a flight attendant, privileged to interact with hundreds of amazingly unique humanoids on a daily basis, I know how rapidly my day deteriorates when I fail to honor this fundamental principle.

Will I open my mind or open my mouth?

Endear or alienate?

Leave a peaceful trail or one of dissension?

Spread love or animosity?

Despite routine stumbles, whenever I don my compassionate heart, joy colorizes my life beautifully…

Because

💕LOVE💕

Always

Wins

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My ‘Just in Case’ Letter

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💔Every day someone kisses a loved one goodbye and doesn’t make it home💔

If only I were a perfect wife…I wouldn’t dare part ways with even an ounce of hostility lingering. I’d honor, cherish, and pour my heart out like there was no tomorrow — never, ever taking love for granted. So, when I read Marie Tillman’s heartrending book, The Letter (and finished mopping my tear-soaked face), the little writer in me had an aha moment: What if I penned my own letter and tucked it inside a crisp white envelope, ensuring my husband never doubted for a single second just how much he meant? You know — just in case…

💞

My Dearest MTD,

When we first met, I knew my soul had arrived home at long last. But never in my wildest dreams could I have written the story I had the privilege of living. You loved with such constancy and patience. Even when I struggled to find my greater purpose you endured my frustrations in your upbeat stride. You were always my first choice. Although we both carted our own bit of baggage into the fray, I loved you as I had never loved before.

From renovating homes to flying airplanes, sailing, and your extraordinary culinary talents — I can’t recall much of anything you couldn’t do. Oh, how I adored watching you prepare your magical meals. You’d go to such lengths to procure the precise ingredients, coming home with an armload of your favorite sunflowers and a huge grin because you’d found the ideal wine to pair with dinner. I’d light the candles and queue Linda Ronstadt or James Taylor on your meticulously installed and perfectly tweaked sound system. We’d talk and laugh — and talk some more.

And all those adventures you so tediously planned??

Jumping out of airplanes, scuba-diving, sailing around the world, hiking Machu Picchu, kayaking the open seas, zip-lining, bike riding to the top of Delphi — seriously?! Sure, I’d traveled a tad before you, but these activities were spectator sports, things I’d nestle on the couch and read about. You nudged me outside my comfort zone and produced brilliant travel videos so I had proof! Without you, I’d have remained as flat as a paper doll.

‘Without you’ was the one journey I never wanted to embark upon.

I’m not exactly sure where I am, but you know from our countless late-night “what’s-it-all-mean” conversations that I’ll always be with you. Just promise you won’t curl your pillow over your ears and assume for even a solitary moment that the squawking crow interrupting your slumber is me!

For an orphan boy, you certainly had a knack for family and gave so much to mine. My relatives and friends adored you. Your enthusiasm for life’s smallest pleasures was contagious. I’ve never been so delightfully infected by anything in my life. I beg you — don’t ever stop spreading your boundless spirit!

You’ll find love again. And when this happens, don’t look back. View this next phase as you would a new country — different, yes, but an exploration to savor.

You were my best friend. Every moment shared with you was a gift, but if you don’t get out there and keep living to the fullest, I’ll be forced to send in the crows — a murder of them! 😉

Eternally Yours,

Nani Kat

💞

(*photo: Saint-Malo, France)

Yin and Yang — Love’s Intricate Dance

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How strong our relationships would be if we could see and respect that we are all perfectly imperfect for our journey.” ― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

💞

Ideal Partners

struggling lovers

Purposefully Connected

preoccupied

Spurred to Be Your Best

letting yourself go

Compassionate Confidantes

secrets exploited

Fearlessly Vulnerable

skeptically withdrawn

Gracious Compromiser

dying to be right

Respectfully Interacting

insatiable ego

Gallivanting Atop Cloud Nine

ricocheted back to earth

Surprises

ruts

Gratitude

attitude

Appreciation

pettiness

Passion

indifference

Forgiveness

resentment

Trusting

second-guessing

                                                                                  Perfectly

                                                                                       imperfect

💞 💞 💞

May we honor one another with the best of our selves

Sharing our hearts as deeply as we can reach

Demonstrating humility when we stumble

Evoking more laughter than tears

 Sashaying harmoniously closer with each challenge overcome

Choosing serenity over drama

Mindful our journeys around the sun are limited

Celebrating 💘LOVE💘 in all its fabulously flawed glory

(photo: Seville, Spain — May 2014)

Somehow… I’m Enough

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Celebrating our fifteenth wedding anniversary recently, someone asked, “Did you guys ever think you’d make it this far?”

As a flight attendant/pilot couple, we’re well aware our odds of marital success are lower than the dismal average. So we take pride rather than offense when such questions arise. But my lungs deflated when my husband replied, “Personally, I can’t believe she didn’t bail the second I started flapping my jaws about my past.”

I forced a smile. But for someone from a cohesive family, including parents who will celebrate their 52nd anniversary next month, enduring a childhood rooted in abandonment and abuse is anguish I will forever struggle to comprehend.

* * *

Mothers are supposed to hurl themselves in front of speeding trains if it means saving their children — right??? But what if you’re a mistake, whisked from your birth mother to an adoptive mother who subsequently opts for “children of her own,” leaving you in the hands of a broken man when you’re just seven? And what if this sole parent turns to the bottle to satiate his anger and to you with raging fists when liquor fails?

My husband needn’t ponder — this was his childhood. And the hardship didn’t end there.

As is frequently the case, the booze triumphed and rendered him an orphan at twenty-three. He pursued his flying dream relentlessly, but the major airlines required a medical history he lacked. In searching for this, he discovered a clerical error: His birth name had been left visible in the adoption records — a unique one, courtesy of his Czechoslovakian mother.

He was twenty-six when he found her. Living with a man in his early thirties, she was terrified that the sudden appearance of her secret son might result in yet another failed romance. After meeting him, she interacted sporadically before vanishing again. As a parting gift, however, she shared his father’s identity —  and the uncanny addendum: He was also an airline pilot!

Optimism skyrocketing, he couldn’t wait to meet his genetic blueprint. Unfortunately, their relationship was doomed from the git-go. Dad was married to a younger woman who couldn’t stomach my husband’s existence — forget subjecting her pre-teen children to such a scandal.

* * *

I’m ashamed to admit, the first time he told me his (less cheeky) version of the story, I quickly located my nearest exit. Don’t get me wrong, I was smitten from the start. He was (and is) my bona fide flyboy in shining armor — and yet?? Even now, in those unguarded moments when I spy a darkness in his eyes I can’t seem to brighten, inadequacy looms:

What if I make a mess of the love he’s gone a lifetime without

Letting him down like countless others?

What if I inadvertently poke holes in an already battered soul

Because my heart is too small?

What if I’m not worthy of the gem that he is?

💞

Then he pulls me into his resilient embrace

Eclipsing words

Halting time

Heartbeats melding

Thumping a tune of

Perpetual devotion

And I know

Somehow… 

I’m enough

* * *

♥ I dedicate this to every person struggling with family or abandonment issuesparticularly during the Holiday Season. I know how hard it is to open your hearts and let another in, but please know that what you’ve endured doesn’t define you. You prove this time and again with your steadfast attitudes and successes. YOU are precious gifts, inspiring others to overcome obstacles while finding the courage to forgive and trust again. And I, for one, am oh-so-grateful for your presence on this earth! xoxo ♥

My Serendipitous Romance

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Vacant heart

Fielding layers of incessant gray

Resigned to mediocrity

Not seeking

Yet, there you were

Seemingly too-good-to-be-true

A real life sorcerer

Vibrantly colorizing my world from that first mystical smile

Sowing hope atop ashes of forsaken dreams

Captivation so electrifying

Love’s rays swooning the stars to lasso the moon

Anticipating the next

But relishing the now

Nurturing what is

So “the end” never pecks its way across our page

Euphoria thickens my throat

Tears of appreciation silently pool

Swept off my feet for a lifetime

My Serendipitous Romance

***

Happy Valentine’s Day to my Treasured Readers…

May love worthy of your honorable hearts gently embrace you — today, and always!

(photo: Hong Kong Harbor 2011)

 

When You Were Worthy of the Finest

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Remember when…

Adorned by family and friends

Cameras captured

Your fanciful march

Besotted with promise

Twirling fuchsia bouquet

In your tailored silk gown

Intricate ring placed with trembling hand

Imparting unity eternal

Freshly bound souls

Dreams bubbling like Champagne

Whispered cheek-to-cheek

Beneath a propitious moon?

But life unfolded…

Human condition consuming

Boxes to check

Building a home, family — career

Hearts taken for granted

Prioritizing spouse and children

Personal ambitions shelved

Until one day a ray of sunshine startles…

Elicits yesterday’s smile

Ironing a face etched by sacrifice

And resurrecting hope

From that time

When you were worthy of the finest…

Lead Me to Forever

 

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I study the mirror

Doubt marring my reflection

When he says he loves me

Yesterday’s gullible girl swiftly discounts

Sentiments tumbling bravely in candlelit hours

Oft-forgotten by sunrise

When he adds that I’m beautiful

I thwart such flattery

Weary eyes mock

Witness to my journey

Naiveté

Hasty moves

False friends

Humiliation

Deep lines frame a sputtering twinkle

But flatness dominates

Harsh lessons reaping cynical eyes

Yet this weathered heart implores

Booming wildly

Just…Once…More

I paint on a smile

And turn out the light

Bracing for a final gamble

Trust versus eternal solitude

With trembling arms

I gather scraps of tattered faith

Praying he’ll prove different

Upstanding

Renew my belief in love

And lead me to forever…

Treasures Await

 

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Life is a Kaleidoscope through his eyes…

Vibrantly rich

Ever-changing surprise

Charmingly amusing

Laughter vanquishes sadness

Cooking becomes art

Foods burst across palates

Wine showers taste buds in her velvety bouquet

Music peppers a collage of memories

Each song composing another verse in an eternal melody

Every day a continuance of thrilling excursion

Routine moments intensify

With that rare someone who spies

Magic in the ordinary

A jolting thunderstorm turns into

Breathless candlelit moments

Tantalized by zigzags of electric energy

Punctuated by soul-stirring booms

Admiring stars as they poke through breaks in the clouds

Flaunting glows with zip in their strut

His arms swiftly encircle

Fingers intertwine

Onward

He gently guides

Around the bend

He gestures

Beaming

Treasures await…

Dancing on Clouds

 

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Love to me

Is mutually giving and earning respect

Caring so much

I cannot bestow enough

Dancing on clouds I never knew existed

Elevated by an impermeable cocoon

Knowing without a doubt

My search has ended

An enchanting whirlwind beckons

Time accelerates

Months blurring into years

Rallying against life’s curveballs

Strong arms encircle

Offering safe sanctuary

More profound than words

A collaborator in all dreams

A person who believes in me

To match my confidence in them

Commitment forged from trust

No walls

No facades

No games

Peace at last

An environment in which I can aspire to my very best

My today

And every tomorrow imaginable…

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