I met Brooke 35 years ago. I was only a few days old and she was a day shy of being 6 months older than I. Our parents were best friends at the time and we spent most of our childhood ebbing and flowing with their dynamic. When they spent a lot of time together, so did we until we were able to chose who we spent out time with and we often chose each other.
Brooke is my best friend. I couldn’t even try to be someone who I am not and I certainly can’t hide anything from her. She is psychic, and deeply connected to me and so, even from the other side of the world she senses when I am going through something. She’ll be woken in the night with thoughts of me, or on a road trip with her husband and have an urge to reach out to me. She knows when something is up and I love having her in my life. I let her pretend she thinks she can hide something from me, but inevitably I will eek it out of her.
We’re actually really different people, with very different interests and so, even when we did live near each other our time together was specific and concentrated. Regardless of how different and opposite our desires are in the world, the one thing that binds us our commitment to our friendship and, a deep love for each other. Now that I live on the other side of the world our main contact is through Skype but I love that our friendship has spanned the ages in communication. I have 14 page hand written letters from her, photo albums she handmade and sent, we have marathon phone sessions and now, mostly, it’s skype.
Brooke is unabashedly honest and she’d kick your arse if she had to. When I was in the 2nd grade, I was running through the school yard and turned a corner right into another boy and was knocked unconscious. I think Brooke was sent to detention for trying to beat him up. She has a mouth like a fisherman too and it’s never a real conversation without a “Ah, fuck that” thrown in somewhere. Yet, she is into the healing arts and is extremely gentle and compassionate and generous. She makes me laugh like nothing else.
This fierceness is deeply embedded in her love for her husband and their relationship. Brooke is no stranger to hardship. She has endured a lot of physical illness including bouts of scarlet fever and chronic fatigue. She met her husband, Aaron, right in the thick of her recovery from a tumultuous year and he never left her side.
I didn’t meet Aaron until after they were married, 6 years after they met but I knew, the minute I put down the phone from our first conversation that he was the one for my best friend. When he fell in love with Brooke, I came as part of the package and he has always loved and respected our friendship. Aaron is an awesome guy. I don’t know any other word to describe him. He is kind, and generous and abundant with respect. Everyone loves Aaron.
They have a great love for each other but they have always known that simply being in love can’t sustain a relationship, or at least he kind of relationship they want. They have a real commitment to sustaining their marriage, and so they both work work at keeping their conversation healthy and alive and in the context of growth. I love this about them, they are another couple whom I admire, and whom I see as a testament to what real love is. It doesn’t fit inside a hallmark card and it’s not really easy to define. What I love most about them as a couple is that they have always given space and understanding to each other’s personal growth. They are invested in the goodness of their partners life.
I sent them some questions for this blog and they didn’t answer the questions I sent. They couldn’t, so they sent me this instead. They are both extremely private people and don’t have a presence on the internet so I am respecting that without putting pictures of them.
Brooke and Aaron live in Melbourne, Australia. They have been married for 6 years and together for 12.
I find it immensely challenging to answer questions about the love that I have in my life and until recently didn’t know why. I often get asked things like “what made you decide to get married?” “How did you know he was the one?” “What makes this relationship different to the others?”
I search my mind and dance around with my thoughts, reliving memories like I am looking through old photo albums. I see pictures of us and feel the emotion envelop me. Then I try to bring that felt sense to words and all that falls from my mouth is an inadequate uttering of hallmark words that have been used so much they are now meaningless to many.
I figured out that to me those questions seem to feel like scales. What is the best thing about your other? What is the best and hardest thing about being married? I know the questions were posed to open a dialogue about what love is to my husband and I, so we sat with that and discovered what that was for us.
The best part about loving and being loved is what it does for you. For us it makes us look at ourselves and what we bring to the table. Our marriage challenges us to look within. We get lost in who we want to be in ourselves, in life and our marriage. Our marriage makes us deal with things we don’t want to, but we want the world that we created to know balance and peace so we choose to push ourselves through all the issues that we brought with us, and create together.
We don’t look at each other as a his and hers kind of thing, all we are sits in a big circle and we work with what’s happening around us at the time. We use the strength we find together to help us grow as individuals and for us this works amazing well. We have a wonderful balance of gifts and challenges in our life.
I never believed that there is a secret formula to love. I believe that when you find the right partner that allows you to be comfortable to love with your whole self you can never go wrong. I find these days so many people are trying to be what they believe a good partner to be rather than being who they are.
On the question of romance……
To us romance is the thought we always have for each other and the intent behind it. We never leave the house without kissing each other goodbye and always make two cups of tea instead of just one. We respect each other’s boundaries and love one another through our fears.
Don’t be fooled by the gush of love and emotion that falls from these pages, it is bloody hard work. There are a lot of tears, a lot of talk and lot of compromise. But because of the man I married I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Everything we are is felt and experienced and therefore very hard to surmise through questions. To know what love is to us you have to know us a couple and see for yourself……maybe you will have better luck finding the words than I do.
With love from us.