When I was sixteen, I wrote a letter to God. In the midst of my anorexia, feeling abandoned by spirit, I told God in no uncertain terms that in spite of my mission on earth if my beloved did not show up soon, I would not make it.
Soon after I met my soul mate in a dream…long golden curls, sky blue eyes, the body of Adonis…I awoke with hope and wonder. Where was he?
Suddenly my parents decided that my high school was too far away (I rode the bus over an hour and half to get there everyday) and the growing tension between the white and black kids was not the best environment for my younger sisters (although I had been going to this interracial school for two and half years and learned to make friends with the leaders of the black girls who looked out for me). So in the spring of my junior year I left all my friends and transferred to the high school closest to my parents’ business.
And on the first morning of track practice, we were told to partner with another athlete to stretch. All the other kids quickly found a partner. I turned to my left and there He was. Sky blue eyes, long golden curls, body of Adonis with a very Greek name to match—Stefanos Darius Maragopoulos—but everyone called him Steve.
The first time I looked into his eyes, I knew.
My soul mate. The one I dreamt. The one I asked God to send.
We were only kids! What was God thinking?
It took awhile to settle into the gift. We don’t always receive gifts right away. We question our worth. We wonder how it’s possibly going to work out. We thank the Divine and question It at the same time. At least I did.
Steve and I took our time getting reacquainted with one another. He was very patient for a sixteen year old. We talked about everything. We are both first born. He had two brothers. I had three sisters. His family was very poor. Mine was middle class. He was being raised by a single mother…divorced twice from abusive relationships. His father was somewhere in Greece. Although it seemed that I had raised myself, my parents were still together. My family loved him.
The summer before my senior year in high school, my grandparents came from Philadelphia. The first time they met Steve, Poppop kissed him. My grandparents were very Italian and men kissed each other. All my sisters’ boyfriends were put off by this custom. Not Steve.
A good Greek boy, Steve welcomed Pop’s kiss. Una raza, una faza. One race, one face. When Steve returned the embrace, Pop took me aside and said, “You better keep this one, Poppy.” I did.
Recently our firstborn asked how to know if the person you’re attracted to is The One. I told him it came down to the first feeling you have when you meet. Jarys asked what I felt when I met his Dad. I remember so clearly. I felt Safe.
Safe to unveil my heart and be my truth. Since that fateful ice cream cone. I had used my anorexia to hide Me. There was no hiding with Steve. I revealed everything. Even the ugly parts. And he accepted all of me. He loved me unconditionally. I had never known love like his.
Steve said that the feeling he had when he first met me was…Home. He felt that he had come home. He still feels the same and so do I.
And when I look into his sky blue eyes, I see myself as Love.
All we have been through over the past 38 years…the deaths, the divorces, the difficult decisions, the challenging careers, the tremendous soul growth that often feels like we have lived many lives in one…all has been transformed into joy. I counsel a lot of people and as a police officer and a coach, so does Steve.
We are eternally grateful for being together this long and still so very much in love. We are best friends, still passionately attracted to each other, great partners in creating our amazing life. I used to see myself as ahead of him on our spiritual path…yet no more, for clearly we are in tandem…taking turns leading when the other needs a rest. And family, friends, and strangers come to us for advice on relationships. And all I can say is how we got here is by choosing Love.