A Public Apology

Love don't know what distance is.

Love don’t know what distance is.

Never forget the nine most important words: I love you. You are beautiful. Please forgive me.
– Jackson Brown Jr.

This past Thursday, the most important person in my life came home. Some might call him the great love of my life, the Big to my Carrie (although I can’t stand Carrie – so we’ll go with the Harry to my Charlotte); some know him as a son, as a friend, as a colleague. I know him as a boyfriend, a lover, a best friend, a teammate, and a partner. I know him as Gavin. And if you couldn’t tell from the pictures above, he is a member of the Air Force, and came back home from his deployment last week.

We both knew going in that this deployment was not going to be easy, but I think I underestimated the true difficulty of being apart from the person you love most for so long. I forgot that life inevitably happens, and when you want to fall back on your other half, you physically can’t. There’s not enough technology in the world that can ever bridge the gap of 8,000 miles.

And while it was hard on me, I made things even harder for him. Never purposefully, but enough to know that I royally screwed a few things up, and I have grown up enough to know that I can admit I was wrong and apologize. My father raised me to own up to my mistakes and to never be a coward while my mother raised me to believe in forgiveness. And apologies are typically never easy for anyone. They can be incredibly difficult, almost like walking across hot coals, and hoping your feet don’t get burned. It’s putting yourself out there, opening yourself up, and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and at one with your faults. In a true apology, there is no sense of self-preservation – it’s all or nothing. We have to completely commit to reliving the wrong we have done and the hurt we have caused. And far be it from me to sound overly Catholic, but we all have to atone for our sins – whether that’s in the face of God or the face of the person or people we have wronged. But forgiveness goes hand in hand with apologies – we all seek the reassurance that although we are flawed, we are still inherently good. And for two months of his deployment, I was severely flawed. He deserves far, far more than an apology, but at the very least, it’s a start. Somme may say that a public apology of this sort is a tad over melodramatic, but please understand, I’m not doing this for attention (nor will I care if you think that I am). I’m doing this for one person in particular, because he deserves it.

 

Dear Gavin,

I’ve already apologized profusely over the phone, in person, all weekend, but I still feel as if this is not enough. You know I’m far better with my words in writing than I am when they’re coming out of my mouth and my filter fails to kick in. You deserve for the whole world (or at least those that are somewhat attuned to this blog) to know what a wonderful human being you are. I cannot reiterate enough how much you mean to me, how much I value you, and I am so terribly sorry for those months where my brain let me forget. So many things were happening in my life a few months ago, and that was absolutely no excuse to distance myself from you. If anything, it should have served as even more of a reason to bring us closer. But I faltered. I stumbled. And out of sheer stubbornness (and stupidity), I refused to let you help me back up.

My mom used to tell me that we never really appreciate something – or someone – until it’s gone. She told me to never forget this – to cherish what I had, and be thankful for the things, opportunities, and people in my life because I’d never know when they would be gone. And I never really thought this through – I never fully understood the weight behind her words. So much so that I became self-destructive and the reason I would lose certain things or certain people was because of me, myself, and I. And that’s exactly what I did to you. I pushed you away, and all you did was continually and consistently love me.

The logical side of me knew in the moment that I should just push the stop button and let you in, but because you know me better than anyone else, you know that I’m all emotions (typically all the time). And I let my emotions get the better of me in this case. You weren’t physically around, and because I couldn’t feel your support when my world was crashing all around me, I decided to bring yours down, too. I was determined to have us go up in flames together. And God, I don’t think I’ve ever been that selfish in my entire life. But I swear I will never be that selfish again. Ever.

When you came home, I told you I didn’t think we should be together, purely because I felt so undeserving of your love. After everything I’ve done, after all of the hurt I decided to pass on because I’d been hurt before, too, you still chose forgiveness and love over everything. We should just enter your name into the Goblet of Fire for Sainthood right now.

I remember you always telling me that no matter what, you’d always love me. And I knew then – as I know now – that I feel the same way about you. Nothing in this world is going to ever stop me from loving you. And I am so sorry I didn’t live out my words through my actions. Please know that I will be better. I am better. You even said you saw it yourself.

I promise you I will never toss you around, push you away, or guard myself around you ever again. Because the truth is, I love when you are close to me. I love feeling your scruff against my cheek, as disorienting as it is. I love feeling your head rest against mine – I have always loved that our heights match so well that I can snuggle my head perfectly into that space under your chin. It fits, it matches. We fit, we match. How the hell did I ever forget that? Even for a second…

I know these are all just words right now, but I promise you that my actions will align this time. You won’t need to give me any more second chances, we won’t need any more fresh starts because I won’t be asking you for any this time. The proof is in the pudding – isn’t that how the saying goes? And you damn well better believe that I am going to be the best pudding ever. And now it sounds like we call each other “pudding” as a term of endearment – and you know we hate it when couples do that. Stick with “babe” or “pukie” (remember that?). Anyway, I digress…

Just know that I can’t promise to be perfect, but I can promise to be better. I can promise I will be the woman you deserve. The friend you deserve. The girlfriend you deserve. We will be such a stronger couple after all of the bullshit I put us through. I will make sure of it. You fought for me – now it’s my turn to fight for you (maybe I’ve been binge watching one too many episodes of Gossip Girl because I’m starting to sound like Chuck and Blair). Regardless of whom I sound like however, my words are genuine. I mean every single one.

After everything, please know how sorry I am. I know time will help everything, but if I could take any pain I’ve caused away, I would in a heartbeat. Because you’re the person that’s always encouraged me, that has always supported me, and that has always loved me unconditionally. No matter how many times I try to fight it, I always find myself right back to where I started – looking at you. And I don’t want to fight it anymore. I won’t fight it anymore. You have me, my whole heart, everything and anything. Every fiber of my being is sorry – I hope that you know that. And I hope you can believe me.

Thank you for forgiving me. Thank you for giving me another chance. Thank you for giving us another chance. Thank you for always having unfailing faith in the reality of you and me. And thank you for loving me like you do.

I love you. Always.

Love,
Sam

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