“If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return, they were always yours. If they don’t, they never were.”
[But is that really true?]
It’s the first show of 2015 and we’re going to tackle a tough topic: true love and the story of The Man in the Moon.
Last February, right around Valentine’s Day, we explored a story involving my mother and the man who would ultimately come to be known as The Man in the Moon.
It’s a profoundly moving and emotional story; one that has impacted me since childhood.
I used to believe in the saying, “If you love someone, you should set them free and if they truly love you, they’ll return.”
I no longer believe this.
I believe that if someone truly loves you, there will be no reason to set them free; they shouldn’t come crawling back after their first choice didn’t work out.
People tend to toss around the term ‘love’ as though it’s a casual term. But it’s anything but. Love is truly transformative and it’s a force that can change your life in the most powerful ways.
I consider myself a hopeless romantic; I believe in true love. I’ve learned that many abuse victims like myself find themselves on a lifelong quest to find true love. They’re often amongst the individuals with the biggest hearts and the deepest desire to love and be loved — even if that desire isn’t outwardly apparent through the hard, protective shell that many abuse victims develop.
When I first shared this story of the Man in the Moon, I didn’t share all of the specifics.
I’ve since realized that it’s a story that must be told — in its entirety.
Over the past year, it’s a story that’s taken on new meaning as I myself became a Man in the Moon.
Recent events have transformed my view of life and love. I’ve come to realize that I was wrong; that love and intimacy aren’t the only part of the equation.
The Story of the Man in the Moon
My mother was a woman who suffered many traumas in her life. She was from a lower-middle class family that was plagued by dysfunction; a dysfunction that came to a head when she witnessed her father hang her mother from a 13th floor window amidst a drunken rage.
My father was from the other side of the tracks. He came from a prominent and wealthy family.
My parents met at a driver’s ed class. My mother said she loved my father, but she wasn’t madly in love with him. She got married because that’s what was expected; getting married young was the norm.
My mother’s true love was a man named Charlie — a man whom I’d come to know as The Man in the Moon. Charlie ultimately married another woman, just as my mother had married another man. But their respective marriages were no obstacle and they would meet in secret. Sometimes, I’d wait in the car, parked on the side of the road. I was just three or four years old when I first witnessed my mother in a rare state of pure happiness as she shared intimate moments with this man.
Charlie’s moniker — The Man in the Moon — was practical yet accurate. He was a man who was ever-present in her life and in her heart, yet in many ways, he was inaccessible. It was a practical term too, since my mother frequently brought me along when she met up with The Man in the Moon. So when my father asked, “What did you do today?”, my honest reply would be a seemingly fanciful: “We saw the Man in the Moon.”
After 14 years of marriage, my parents got divorced. But Charlie never left his wife — a woman who happened to be one of my mother’s best friends.
In time, Charlie and I became friends.
One day, my mother and I met Charlie for lunch. At one point in the meal, my mother left the table, heading for the restroom. I’ve always been very direct and I asked, “You love my mother. Why won’t you leave your wife?” Charlie replied, “I have children, obligations…..But someday, we’ll make it work. Someday.”
I knew that he truly loved my mother. And over the years, my mother continued to receive flowers, cards and other tokens of his affections.
They continued to see each other, but Charlie never did leave his wife. In this way, he truly lived up to his moniker, The Man in the Moon, remaining ever-present yet inaccessible.
So my mother set out on a mission to find another man. She sought to replicate the intense bond that she shared with Charlie.
But true love was elusive. She re-married and divorced twice.
In the end, my mother was miserable, forever haunted by the forbidden love she shared with The Man in the Moon.
Years later, my father said, “I love your mom, but your mom was always in love with Charlie — The Man in the Moon. He should have married her.”
The story of The Man in the Moon has led me to realize that love exists separately from intimacy. And if you don’t have intimacy — an incredible bond with another human being — then you don’t have anything.
These are just some of the topics we’ll be exploring on the latest episode of Sunday Night With “Scott Binsack”. It’s a must-see episode; one that will force you to confront and reconsider your views of love, intimacy and true love.
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