My First Love

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Oh how little we both were!

They say you never truly get over your first love. But what happens when your first love is still there, but out of reach?

My first love wasn’t who you might think it’d be. It wasn’t a former boyfriend, colleague, or friend. It was a 3 month old little girl who captured my heart when I was 15. What began as an occasional babysitting job, turned into a full time, 40+ hours-a-week job. During my high school years, I had the privilege of watching this little one grow from a baby, to an infant, to a toddler, and now, into a young lady.

I could say that I’ve loved people in the past, outside of my family, but the truth is, I’ve never experienced a love like the love I had, and still have, for her. Early on, I discovered that I loved her like my own. If anyone ever tried to harm her, I would’ve given my life for her without hesitation.

I was who she first said, “I love you” to. I saw her first smile, her first laugh, her first steps…I’ve rocked her in my arms until she fell asleep, and I’ve had long nights tending to her when she was sick. And there are days like today, where I miss it all deeply.

Due to circumstances beyond our control, it’s been a very long time since I last wrapped her in my arms and told her how much I love her. But someday, we will see each other again and I’ll do just that.

Until then though, the grief of being separated from someone you love so much comes in waves. There are days when I’m seemingly completely fine. And then there are days like today, when something as small as a product in a grocery store triggers a memory and nearly sends me into tears.

I miss her delicate features smiling up at me. I miss her laugh and the way she’d giggle at something so silly. But most of all, I miss being able to tell her that she is loved, is valued, and has a purpose.

Reader, sometimes love brings pain and sometimes that pain feels like more than we can bear. You will get through this season, as will I. There may be tear-filled nights and hearts that ache, but there will come a day when every tear is wiped away and our hearts are once again filled with joy.

Tonight, I hold on to that hope, and I thank God that He can be trusted, always.

Manda

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