20e. Follow me… to Lebanon!?

My mother wonders why I don’t want more from life.  She wonders why I’m always settling for 2nd class, when 1st class is just within my grasp.

I see her point.  I can see because she had to struggle for money and food nearly all her life, that she would never want her children to travel the road of deliberate hardship.

Although I can see her point, she will never see mine.  I can see where she comes from because I have climbed up beyond the dense forest of disappointment, and reached the peak of satisfaction.  I have realized long ago that being satisfied with life is so much more enjoyable than always reaching for whatever comes next.

Not to say I’m not ambitious.  Just take a look at my resume, and you’ll see that I am no stranger to ambition.  But ambition has never meant dissatisfaction for me.

Going in to my relationship with Fred, I knew he would never be my sugar daddy.  I knew that he did not pretend to be something more than he was.  I knew that the opportunities that slipped through his fingers in his past, were opportunities lost to him forever.  But still I was satisfied.  I was happy because although he never was able to realize his full potential, he would always be there to support me in realizing mine.

Which brings us to the final verse of Uncle Kracker’s “Follow Me.”

Won’t give you money, I can’t give you the sky
You’re better off if you don’t ask why
I’m not the reason that you go astray and
We’ll be alright if you don’t ask me to stay

If Fred could, he would buy me the biggest, rarest diamond in the world.  If he could, he would climb the tallest mountain to get me a piece of heaven.  But instead, he gave me something even more valuable to me… his heart.

He has plainly said to me that he could never get that diamond, or that piece of heaven.  He never promised me he would.  This never made me question his love though.  I knew the reasons why, even though the reasons were too painful for him to recount.

And contrary to the misconception of so many people, Fred never pulled me down from my destined path.  It was him that actually lifted me to realize my true worth.  My family will never understand that.  They will never fully appreciate how much of a vital role he played in saving me from a life that deviated even further from what they had hoped for me.

Which was why it was with great disappointment for me that I found I could not hold Fred down and keep him selfishly for myself.  I wanted to cage him up so he could continue to help me grow.  But he would not be caged.  His deep desire to see his parents trumped all that we had built together.  How could he expect his children to respect him when they grew up, if he did not set the example himself.  How could he live happily in the U.S. when his parents grew desperate in Lebanon?

So despite the risk, despite the fact that we knew the potential consequences, we decided to move our immobile immigration case by force.  We went up to the border where Fred had entered from Canada to get the file of his legal entry into the U.S.  There, we discovered there was a standing order for his deportation.  There he was taken into custody as his American wife and child wept.  And there is where our lives began anew.  And there was where we made the best decision we have ever made for our relationship…


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