I gave you my heart, I gave you my soul, and I gave to you all the love that I hold within me. I gave you my respect and understanding. I gave you my compassion and my passion; I gave you faithfulness. I gave you my laughter; I opened my heart and let you know my fears and insecurities, my strengths and weaknesses.

I gave you my encouragement and my belief in you. I gave you my honesty and trust. If I could love you forever, that wouldn't be long enough. I shared with you my tears; I gave you my arms with which to hold you when you were feeling down. All these things I gave to you freely and willingly, because of my love for you, and they shall always remain yours.

But I know now that I have to forget about you, because of the way you affect my everyday life. I know that I have to quit hoping that I will ever get to hold or kiss you again. I don't want to wake up anymore, in the middle of the night, thinking about you and not being able to get back to sleep.

I don't want that feeling anymore, that I get in my heart, from seeing you without me. I need to fill that hole in my soul that I carry with me, from losing you, but I know that it will never go away.

I need to know what it takes for me not to see your face everyday, even when you're not around, I still see you as if your standing right next to me. My heart remains lifeless at the thought of losing your smile, the sound of your laughter, your tears, and the compassion that lies in your heart.

You see, I finally learned what real love is, and that real love was you. If you ever find that ability to love and care for someone that much, where each waking day is better than the previous one, and no matter what happens or what your station in life is, be it rich or poor, that nothing can change your heart, because you have each other's hearts, then shall you truly know where real strength and love come from.

I can't take back what's in my heart or all the feelings that go with it, or for the fact that everything I was or was capable of becoming, I gave to you and leave with you. Real love is a rare and wonderful thing, and as with most rare things, very hard to hang on to.

It's about wanting to hold and kiss each other every day. It's about saying "I love you" everyday. It's not just saying the words; it's when you cradle that person's face in your hands and look them in the eyes and say to them "no, I really mean it, I truly love you".

It's about sitting with each other and not having to speak a word, because two hearts have become one. It's knowing that the worst thing about dying would be missing you and not being able to see you anymore. It's about understanding and keeping the passion alive, so that every day is like the very first tme you gave your heart and soul to that one person.

It's knowing that you listen to your heart and follow it, because you know that there is nothing stronger or more powerful than the heart. It can bring you to heights unimaginable, or it can slam you so hard that you think even living isn't important anymore. It's about believing that you don't give up on real love, because it's such a hard thing to keep and it's not worth losing. It's knowing that all the trials and tribulations, all of it, everything, just makes the both of you stronger.

I write these feelings and words down in the hopes of seeing that it puts the feeling of real love in your heart; to know what an amazing feeling it is and how free it makes you feel. It's like being able to fly without actually leaving the ground; not many people ever get to feel that. I know in my heart that I lost part of me because the hurting never goes away; it will always be there but it helps to make me a stronger person in some ways.

So if you ever find real love, keep it in your heart and lock it away and keep it there for eternity and beyond. Don't be afraid to pass it on to other people, because it really is the one real and true thing that we have in our lives.

Live long, hard, and forever.

Copyright © 2002 Gary Lee Allman