I remember when I was a young boy of about eight years old when at home on a Sunday, I heard my mother scream.
I was playing with my toys, a Tonka VT6 dune buggy and my SSP racer.
I loved these cars, one is smooth and durable, the other fast and light with the sparks flying out of the tail when pulling out the T-strip.
I could play with these two toys for hours, never noticing the time or any other outside distractions.
Yet, on this day I couldn’t help but hear the high pitched shrill coming from my mother’s bedroom.
I threw down my toys, my sister and I practically colliding in the hallway exiting from our rooms at the same time.
We ran to mother’s room at the end of the hallway, shoulder to shoulder crossing the threshold of the open door. What we saw, shot chills into my back.
There we found, our mother an adult woman jumping up and down on the bed like she was one of us.
Mother was jumping up and down, pumping her fist into the air and screaming, not from fear but of joy.
The 19” television we owned, was positioned against the wall facing the foot of her bed. While she was jumping and screaming, her eyes were affixed to the screen in front of her.
My sister and I asked, almost simultaneously “what happened?”
My mother went on to explain that she was watching the Washington Redskins play the Dallas Cowboys, and the running back at that time #43 Larry Brown, had just scored a touchdown and had given the Redskins a large margin on the scoreboard.
I was curious to know just what it was that had given my mother so much joy.
I sat down on the carpet, crossed my legs and leaned my back against the bed in front of the television. The score was 38-13 and there remained one more quarter of play.
My sister returned to her room, while I sat there with my mother learning about the game of football, but more importantly, enjoying seeing my mother happy.
There would be many Sundays after that spent on the floor against the bed in my mother’s room watching OUR beloved team.
As the years turned, I would experience the joy of our team winning three championships, but also the agony of losing one.
Every year brings with it a new hope. Would this be the year that they would return to championship play?
My friends would tease me, often changing teams over the years depending on who was who at that time.
In the eighties, there were 49er coats and jerseys everywhere. In the nineties, Cowboys, and today the New England Patriots.
I explained to my friends that my team was and will always be the Washington Redskins whether they win or lose.
That fall day as an eight-year-old, I fell in love and would come to understand my love for my team was not based on wins or losses, but rather the joy the games brought into my life.
We live in a world today where passion seems only to exist but for a moment.
We are a finicky society, choosing our allegiance to whatever or whoever is hot at that moment. We prop up our heroes only to later shoot them down.
We meet someone, fall in love, enter a relationship, yet when the losses start to pile up we tuck tail and move through the brush.
We watch the incessant barrage of love stories, fairy tale movies, and romance stories swivel through our minds, and before our eyelids.
Deep down whether male or female, we all want the same thing, true love.
The moment the two sets of eyes meet, we think it to be true love, a truer lover not known to any man or woman before.
In the beginning, we give our time with zero hesitation and wishing there was more time to give.
We talked on the phone for hours, caring little for the night, or the soon coming of a new day.
We traded adolescent nicknames and stolen kisses. Hands seldom free, and her scent becoming part of our DNA.
Our friends, laughed innocent it seemed but we deemed them to be jealous of our extraordinary love.
“Soul mates!”, we exclaimed devoted to dying for one another if the day required it.
Then, it happened. The first disagreement, first conflict, first argument and what we both thought to be love beckoned for the consideration of a lesser attraction.
Was I really in love, or lost in how she made me feel about myself?
While we might not want to admit it, none of us enter a relationship in desire for what we might bring to another person’s life.
We enter relationships for what the other might bring to our own lives.
We like the way she makes us smile, makes us think, the way she makes us feel. Love at first sight is a myth, a folk ballad created in the annals of our lonely hearts.
Yet, true love is lurking around the corner of hardship like the beginning of an armed robbery.
True love must be fortified, by unfavorable experiences. It is through these experiences that a person’s true character is revealed.
You cannot know these answers in the beginning and you cannot love without knowing what their character truly is. What are her strengths, and her weaknesses?
While naturally, we start out by filling a void in our own lives, at some point true love should motivate us to fill the void in hers.
Avoiding the lecture circuit, I do not pretend to KNOW what the divorce rates are or the reasons they exist.
I do believe that many break ups and divorces were inevitable reactions to an absence of true love.
So how do you know if you love her? How do you know the difference between a true fan or a fair-weather fan?
Do you love her for how she makes you feel about yourself, or do you love her for all of who she is?
The good and the bad.
If you truly love her, then you probably display these ten signs…
1. You Think Less About Yourself And More About Her
You care about her needs, what’s important to her. You become less self-centered, wanting to ensure that she is okay.
2. When She Isn’t Around, You Miss Her
You enjoy spending time with her, whether it’s going to the movies or even just to do the laundry. If she is around, it doesn’t matter what the activity might be.
3. You Like Her
She is your friend, and you like her. You enjoy being together, talking together, sharing space and events. It doesn’t matter if she understands the football game, you enjoy her company.
4. You Can’t Wait For Your Friends And Family To Meet Her
When you truly love her, you want to share her with everyone who matters to you. Not only do you want to share her with the people you love, but you care what they think about her.
5. You Forsake All Other Romantic Interests
Your eyes, your heart and your time are completely invested in her. You don’t entertain whether there is someone out there better for you. You love her, and wouldn’t do anything to hurt her.
6. You Do Things For Her Without Expectation For Anything In Return
You enjoy taking her out, spending money on her, because it makes her happy.
7. The Good Times Outweigh The Bad
You love her through the difficult days, never wavering in your devotion to her. Your love for her is not based on circumstances.
8. You Think About The Future
You know that she is the one you want in your life, thinking often about growing old together.
9. You Can Be Yourself
You don’t mind being silly, or goofy around her. You have no secrets, and nothing is taboo with her.
10. You Accept Her For Who She Is
You don’t try to change her or criticize her for who she is. You accept her flaws, which soon turn to endearments.
True love doesn’t come easy, it takes time.
Over time, a relationship must be tested to see if it will stand.
There will be wins and there will be losses, but if it is true love, your jersey will never change.