In Metal Gear Solid: The Twin Snakes, Dr. Hal Emmerich (aka Otacon) risks life, limb, and a frozen grave to follow the greatest soldier to ever walk the face of Hideo Kojima's earth. Before Solid Snake ascends the tower to confront his revenge-craven twin, Emmerich finds his newfound brother-in-arms, one single question in mind that will not let him alone:
"[Snake,] do you think love can bloom, even on a battlefield?"
Though easy to dismiss as simple cliché, the love that I have blessedly experienced for nearly six years has been nourishment and health to a soul that never knew such things could exist, or if they were even deserved. And in fifteen days, a journey that has been one of the greatest and most rewarding periods of my life will come to a very significant milestone, as I marry the woman who singlehandedly is responsible for this blog, the restoring of my life and sanity, and my rediscovery of my love of writing. This woman has been my right arm, the extension of my soul, saying things and putting things in perspective I alone could never have accomplished. Our oneness and solidarity as a unit is easily overshadowed by her passion and drive to see me become a complete man.
Frankly, I was not sure that love and direction was for me to have after my first marriage ended. Immaturity and differences in life goals were but two of many reasons that led to a very nasty divorce. And during the separation, I never thought for one second that the group of people, the ones that were always supposed to have my back, would ever turn their back on me.
Father, mother, brothers, and church members were part of a large cadre of people that condemned the love I had found in Jessica. I watched this group of people leave me in a time that was quite honestly the most painful in my life. Enduring this pain was hard enough, but that I withstood physical abuse, bullying, and emotional apathy to my needs (I lived 6 months in the master bedroom of my apartment like a prisoner in my home) was a miracle.
It has been difficult to have to assert myself to people I never thought I would have to. After all, parents are supposed to be the ones who always have your back in situations like this. To go from being one big, happy family to becoming a man unto himself due to ideological and emotional persecution at times has been nearly insurmountable. The pain of putting away childish things has been excruciating on so many levels. But thankfully, my wife to be has been there with me through everything, never once leaving my side.
Jessica is my miracle; my one proof in this world that in a world gone mad with selfishness and darkness of mind, God still loved me and wanted me to be happy. And throughout all that, there is still so much to explore; so much that has not been discovered together. And quite frankly, I would have it no other way.
So while other people may get married with fresh pairs of rose-colored glasses to hide their starry eyes on the day of their wedding, or see their union as a way to “honor God”, I see our upcoming wedding as a stamp of finality for those who insisted that our love was not honorable, would not last, or would be simply an empty fling.
I see our union as a way for me to honor those who have stood on this battlefield with me; the people who have become my family when the one I was born into became adversaries to my happiness, my future, and my mental stability. For those of you who may be in attendance that read this piece, know that my love for every last one of you is boundless, and my appreciation for your presence in my life goes beyond word or deed.
I have forsaken so much, and gained so much in return. And July 20, 2012 will be a celebration of all these things. I look so forward…