Friday, June 21, 2013

I Will Wait For You

As popular as it is right now, Mumford and Sons' I Will Wait frequently sticks in my head. This idea of waiting for the right person is a common and romantic theme in media. There is a suggestion that waiting for the the right person, known or unknown, will lead to a beautiful, albeit delayed, love.

"“...of all the hardships a person had to face none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”  Khaled Hosseini, A Thousand Splendid Suns

But what exactly are we waiting for? Commonly the idea of waiting for someone romantically insinuates one of two things: (1) The beloved is absent, such as in the instance of a typical WWII movie where the brave soldier goes to war while the pretty and worried beloved waits for him at home; (2) a body purity concern.

Waiting for an absent lover in our current society could be more readily portrayed in the form of long distance relationships where the partners are pulled apart from one another because of disparate career choices. Such partners have to deter other romantic possibilities as they wait to be reunited with their long-distance loves.

Waiting through absences is seen as romantic. What about waiting for a partner while remaining in his or her presence?

Sometimes waiting with a partner who is having emotional turmoil can be just as hard as waiting for an absent partner. Negative emotions are hard to carry in a relationship, and when life circumstances bring one partner down, the other suffers as well.

When life is hard partners don't always wait. In the documentary Happy one of the women interviewed reflects on a life-changing accident. The woman was run over by a truck, leaving her far less beautiful than she had been and bed ridden for many months. During this time of trial her husband didn't wait, instead choosing to leave her.

“Waiting hurts. Forgetting hurts. But not knowing which decision to take can sometimes be the most painful...”  José N. Harris, MI VIDA

In the documentary, she regains strength, she meets a new man, and has a happier life than she had before her accident. Cheerful, kind, creative, and resilient, she was a woman worth waiting for, and her first husband missed out on learning the capacity of her spirit.

Would the first husband have waited the same amount of time as the recovery period (8 months if I remember correctly), had the months been spent apart for a career concern? Perhaps waiting for an absent partner is in some ways easier than waiting for a partner to regain strength after facing emotional or physical damage.

As I put my life plans on hold to wait for Owen to finish school, I like to think of songs like I Will Wait. It helps me to remember the value of this waiting period as we continue to build our relationship in preparation to pursue our life together.

"Blessings may appear under the shape of pains, losses, and disappointments; but let him have patience, and he will see them in their proper figures."  Joseph Addison The Guardian 

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