My husband and I are on the rollercoaster and let's just say, we are on the top of the big hill screaming...at each other. It's been an interesting spring in the relationship arena and hopefully the rollercoaster will pull into the station and we will get off. Not that this is new to us, but we have been so good for such a long time...it feels really weird.
Needless to say, I have been spending time thinking about relationships and real love. What is real love? Is it the volitile love of a spouse after 20 years, or is that just surviving? How do we know what we have is the real thing? Today, I had the chance to witness what I consider "the real thing". It wasn't planned but it just was...the love between an older couple facing the near future without each other. I thought to myself...I am sure this is what enduring love is.
I showed up at this lovely house in the mountains...decorated with lots of wall paper and color, antiques and knick naks. All in their place...sort of. When she answered the back door, I could see from the crease in her brow and the trembling chin that it hadn't been a good night. "How are you today?" I asked...she said "I'm fine...just a long night."
Usually he meets me in the sitting room watching TV in his jeans, flannel shirt and hair combed back. Today, he was upstairs...in bed. I called up and he told me to come on up...he wasn't quite ready to get up. He was sitting up on the bed, hair sticking straight up and I could tell, he was not feeling good.
He is an unbelievable handsome man, older of course, but so handsome. And smart...sharp as a tac. He is totally aware and running the show. He is the boss of these last days and don't let anyone stand in his way. "How are ya feeling today?" I asked. "Good now, but I had terrible pain last night, different than I have had before." We talked about his medication and how to take it, along with all my knowledge that I thought could help keep him comfortable. All the while, his wife stood at the end of the bed watching and holding back tears.
She is a beautiful woman and they are devoted to each other. She has had some problems in the past and he stood by her, cared for her and loved her. She is now doing the same for him. I mentioned something about him being handsome and getting attention from her and she lit up and said, "He is the most wonderful man...he can have attention any time he wants." Then he looked at her like she was an angel and this knowing look passed between them.
He is fading...and he knows it. He is willing to try things that I suggest for comfort and he wants to talk to me about "following him through until the end." "Of course", I say..."It will be an honor to be with you and your girl." And it will....
There is all kinds of love. I love food, drink...I love my kids and even my husband. I love to see my son marching on the field with the band or my other son behind the plate with his catcher gear on. But this love I experienced today...deep, rich and comforting. I can imagine that this love has endured much. They have had children, jobs, illness and pain. They have endured and have loved each other through it all. Now this love is enduring the march to death...to final separation. These two adore each other. When they talk about this illness...the future, they are strong but they both talk to me privately how they worry about each other...then they sigh, wipe the tears and accept.
Today was love at it's finest, in it's most tender and pure definition. As pure as I have seen in life and now get to witness with the end of life.
Love is patient, Love is kind...love is enduring, through sickness and in health...til death do us part.
May we all have that kind of love when we know the end is near.
We'll tawk soon,
I love you all,