A Broken Arm, a Mended Heart

From the get-go I thought, “this guy is dangerous.白天,克里斯是我工作的第一家杂志社的网络极客. But in his free time, he was an adrenaline junkie. He climbed 14,000-foot-tall mountains, skateboarded in empty swimming pools and, on a fat-tired bicycle, careened down steep, rocky hillsides.  每到周一,他都会因为周末的愚蠢行为而带着新的瘀伤或闪亮的红色伤口去上班.

一个冬天, 他请了六周的假,这样他就可以骑自行车穿越西伯利亚的贝加尔湖, 最古老的, deepest lake in the world. 当然, 在冬天, it’s not 真正的ly a lake at all, but a 400-mile-long swath of ice sandwiched between jagged rocks. On his list of gear to pack were studded bicycle tires, a sleeping bag rated to -40F, 还有一把螺丝起子,以防冰破了他掉进搅拌器里, subfreezing water (he’d use the screwdriver to claw his way out). 还有一次,他几乎从俄勒冈州胡德山的表面垂直坠下1500英尺. 幸运的是——或者是上天的眷顾——他的登山斧尖卡在了冰缝里,阻止了他的滑行. He went on to summit the mountain, triumphant.

克里斯也很危险,因为他非常有魅力. 在办公室里,他把一头乱蓬蓬的卷发扎成一个马尾辫. 他穿着有纽扣的短袖衬衫,与他宽阔的肩膀和登山者的二头肌很相配. 在他的眼镜后面闪耀着海洋般的蓝色眼睛,可以穿透你的灵魂.

Adventure was his lifeblood. 他在威斯康星州中部300英亩的土地上自由放养长大, where he’d learned to hunt, climb and ice fish. 他喜欢寒冷,并坚持要教我——一个来自亚特兰大的胆怯的女孩——如何滑雪. 一月的一个晚上,在他为几位同事举办了一段欢乐时光之后,我又逗留了一会儿. He set me up with boots that were two sizes too big, strapped me to the waxed fiberglass board, gave me a few pointers, and nudged me down the hill behind his apartment building. I thought snowboarding was easy and fun…until we got to the 真正的 slope in Vermont a few days later. 在我第一次在小山丘上跑步时,我跌倒了,摔断了胳膊.

That was our first date.

I could have cut my losses and walked away right then. Bones heal, after all. I wasn’t so sure about my heart.

Avoiding pain had been my personal mission since I was five. My childhood home was dominated by brokenness and heartache, beginning in the early 1970s with my older brother, who was born severely developmentally disabled. 他有癫痫发作和暴发性发作,必须24小时监视. 我哥哥无法控制自己的本性,但这并没有阻止我父母的悲伤. 那时候,有个残疾的孩子是一种病,我的父母也没有办法治愈. They had me, and later, a “normal” son. But we weren’t enough. 破灭的希望已经转化为怨恨、谎言和愤怒.

Dad eventually moved out.

在那之后, 我母亲一直在努力填补她内心的空虚,击退吞噬她(和hg888皇冠手机版)的抑郁. The men she pursued – some married, 其他好色之徒-对三个孩子的母亲的一揽子交易没有兴趣, especially when it included a special needs kid. 即使如此年轻,我也知道这些关系不会有好结果. My role was to keep the peace, 为了减轻她的痛苦,在她消失在黑夜里的时候,分担一些养育孩子的责任. 当她又一次分手后倒在浴室地板上哭泣时,我也是她的心理医生. I told her what she wanted to hear, that everything would be all right, that her Prince Charming was still out there, 的某个地方. Meanwhile, I vowed never to follow in her footsteps. I resolved not to treat my heart so recklessly.

When it came time for me to date, I chose buttoned-up, 发光的南方男孩发誓要让我保持贞洁直到hg888皇冠手机版的婚礼. 这些保守的绅士虽然缺乏热情和冒险精神,但他们却以虔诚来弥补. 我被他们的坚定所吸引,也被他们稳定的双亲教育所吸引. 从很多方面来说,我还是个五岁的孩子渴望一个完整的 happy family.

当关系结束的时候(从来没有戏剧性的,但更多的是卡通化的 of unreturned phone calls or it’s not you, it’s me), I was sad, but not heartbroken. A heart can’t break when it’s shuttered away. 我下定决心要和母亲生活在对立面,以至于我忽视了浪漫最重要的因素:吸引力.

Now here was Kris. I couldn’t get enough of him, and it terrified me. 他的声音里充满了热情、善良和对生活的向往, and I just wanted to be around him and hear him speak more. In the beginning, that’s all we did. hg888皇冠手机版谈了, sometimes until three in the morning, 我坐在他吉普车的副驾驶座上,暖气发动,我的腿在冒汗. Or sprawled on the futon in my apartment after cooking elaborate, messy dinners together – me with my one good arm. hg888皇冠手机版讨论了书籍,旅行,电影,音乐以及所有hg888皇冠手机版梦想做的事,梦想成为的人.

尽管克里斯冒了很大风险,但他过了好几个星期才敢吻我. He waited until my arm had healed and we could properly embrace. The moment was like throwing gasoline on a smoldering coal.  

It wasn’t long before I started joining him on 冒险s. 有个周末,hg888皇冠手机版心血来潮搭飞机去伦敦,因为一家航空公司的往返机票售价为199美元. He’d seen the advertisement and said, “I’ve never been. 想去?” His optimism and spontaneity were infectious. We went camping in three feet of snow just for the hell of it, and stayed up all night, cocooned in our down sleeping bags. 在漆黑的冬季天空的映衬下,星星是那么的浓密,像我以前从未见过的一样. 我抬头凝视,第一次看到了一个不用由过去来定义的未来.

最终,hg888皇冠手机版搬进了宾夕法尼亚州东部一座有150年历史的农舍. 这座房子占地8英亩,一边是一个有机农场, a tree farm on another, and a Mennonite family farm across the road. 克里斯继续追求他的下一个刺激计划——爬山, 冒险 racing, backpacking — but now he had a home base, 和我在一起. We loved to bicycle, 从hg888皇冠手机版的前门,hg888皇冠手机版可以拼凑出50英里的起伏的环路,游览荷兰乡村的拼布拼布,但从未穿过一条繁忙的街道. On Sunday mornings, we awoke to the clip-clop of horse-drawn carriages, our neighbors heading off to church. We bought eggs, 面包, 和附近农场的有机农产品,种植hg888皇冠手机版自己的萨尔萨菜园里的西红柿, 辣椒, onions and cilantro.

Kris loved it because it reminded him of where he’d grown up. I loved it because it was the exact opposite of how I’d grown up. He begged me to sleep with the windows open. His body craved the smell of grass, trees, dirt. But I resisted. My childhood home had been burglarized several times, once in the middle of the night while we were home, cowering under our beds.

“Don’t you know I’ll protect you, city girl?他带着温暖的微笑问我。他推开摇摇晃晃的旧窗户,让凉风吹进来. 我看着他的脸,那么真诚和充满爱意,我知道他会不惜一切代价保护我. It took a while, but I leaned into this man, and I began to see that risk does not equal recklessness. He took chances in life, but not with my heart.

克里斯把hg888皇冠手机版的关系比作在蜿蜒的山路上骑双人山地车. A journey not without steep climbs and rocky patches. But the smooth parts? 山路的下坡弯弯曲曲让你头晕目眩,让你无法呼吸? 纯粹的幸福.

所以,有一天,当我沿着我所敢骑过的最陡峭的山路下行时,这一切似乎都很合适, 感受由于暂停谨慎而获得奖励的恐慌和兴奋, I found Kris at the bottom of the hill by a mountain stream, down on one knee. He was caked in dirt and grinning ear-to-ear. My knight on a silver bicycle.

“你是我的冒险伙伴,我最好的朋友,我的锚,”他说. “I want you to be my wife.”

我的心怦怦直跳,因为我努力了,也意识到他是真诚的, that I could have it all – safety, 冒险, and passion – for the rest of my life. 我把沾满汗水的皮手套从左手上剥下来,让他把戒指戴在我的手指上.

            We rode away and never looked back.


Gina DeMillo Wagner began her career as an editor for Rodale Inc. in Emmaus, Penn. She now writes for magazines including Forbes Travel Guide, 背包客, 外, 《hg888皇冠》杂志, and Experience Life. 她的个人文章出现在角色/重启,大象杂志,现代妈妈等. 她正在写回忆录,与丈夫克里斯和两个孩子住在亚利桑那州.