~ By Greg Zangari

As I begin to write this, I look over to see the love of my life sleeping peacefully. Today, I’m reflecting on the past 8 years with Wendy, whom I met in person for the first time on July 2, 2004, it fills my heart with joy – although I’ve only been with her for 20% of her life, I feel such an intense connection with her that it seems like I have known her for much longer than that.
Just to let you know, due to the fact that she’s not been able to find much work after moving here to PA, coupled with the fact that I was unemployed when we met, as it took me 18 months to find an employment match, and when I did, it was a work from home position with very little business travel, then in mid 2008, my own disability started, I’d say were are together most of the time. Add to that the fact that Wendy has not been able to work for the past couple of years due to her auto-immune disease and you’ll find us almost spending 24 hours a day together.
Most of our days are spent discussing this or that, learning new things about each other and just growing together. I don’t know many people who could handle being with their spouse 24/7/365, especially at our age when we’re just itching to be out in the workforce, contributing to society and interacting face to face with others.  Instead of driving us mad, we find it amazing that two people can spend so much time together, usually no more than physically a couple of feet away from each other, and not get bored or tired of each others company, wanting to pull each others hair out! I’m not going to lie, sometimes being so close isn’t the best thing when one of us is having one of those “there is nothing you can do to make me feel better” moments. However, we find a way to cope because of the love pouring into whichever of us is feeling low.
Wendy is so intuitive and so empathic and I do feel guilty when I’m low and my vibration brings her vibration down as well. She tries to find a kind word to say in order to make things better and she usually does. Let me tell you, living with the passion of a Cancer isn’t the easiest thing to do sometimes, especially when she sees injustice happening. Once my wife is on a mission, you better stay out of her way, especially if it involves a person or cause she cares about. She will make her own self sick sometimes, just because she cares “too much” but her tenacity is amazing to watch, which is much better than living with someone who doesn’t seem to grasp life by the balls the way Wendy does.
I’ve been with three long-term partners during my life and am fortunate to have seen and learned these lessons. I’ve been married to a woman who cared too much what others thought of her to ever form a strong opinion or stance on anything, who let life pass her by without getting involved and kind of stayed in the shadows. When our relationship was not going well, instead of working on it or discussing why she was unhappy or mentioning that counseling was in order and because she was too cowardly to ask for a divorce, she admitted she tried to make me hate her so that I would be the one to ask for a divorce.
I have also been with a partner who was passionate about certain causes, but could only show her passion over the internet, however face to face she was timid and would crawl under the carpet if she could, in order to avoid any type of conflict. In fact she was so cowardly, that she left me one morning, then wrote an email 3 days later, telling me that she was not coming home and that she was now with someone else half way across the country.
After learning what I didn’t want in life through these lessons, I’m now with someone who is not scared to speak her mind and stand up for what she believes in. Wendy is all heart and she is not afraid to wear it on her sleeve, which has worked against her with employers in the past, however, she can not be moved off her path, she walks in her truth and will debate with anyone regarding just about any topic, face to face.
Wendy, like me, would not say anything about someone that she wouldn’t say to their faces. What I’m saying is I’m finally with someone who is “real” behind closed doors, as well as in public. I’ve never experienced trust and honesty from a partner the way I do with Wendy and I’m sure that’s why I’m not with the others. It seems that I needed to experience what I didn’t want first, in order to have a truly honest, loving relationship. Although it crushed me at the time, I thank my past partners for both the happiness they brought me and the lessons about relationships that I had to learn the hard way.
It’s been pretty amazing growing together with Wendy over the past 8 years. Although I considered having children in the past, it never happened. Not too long after I met Wendy, my heart burst wide open and I told her she was the first person with which I ever felt passionate enough to strongly desire having children. I do see children in our future and we can’t wait to have a little one running around! I thought I knew what love was. I thought I knew what trust was. I thought I knew what honesty was. But my reality is that I didn’t really know any of these life lessons and emotions completely, until I met Wendy. I truly have never been loved and cared for the way Wendy loves and cares for me and at this point, I can’t imagine being with anyone else.
So Wendy, thank you for being in my life. Thank you for being in our readers lives. You don’t just make my life wonderful, but you try to spread that beautiful joy and passion to everyone you meet, as you are not afraid to make eye contact and say hello and give a smile to a perfect stranger who may be walking past you, wherever you go. If you can spread this much love at 40, imagine what you’re going to do in years to come! Happy Birthday to the most wonderful woman I know!

© 2012, shiftingtimesarehere. ™ Wendy & Greg Zangari, All rights reserved. Permission is granted to copy and redistribute these articles on the condition that the content remains complete and in tact, full credit is given to the author(s), and that it is distributed freely.

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