When we love a
We never try to
says that we love
half of the
a lovely narrative inspired by the writings of
Annette Paxman Bowen.
I have a friend who
is falling in love. She honestly claims the sky is bluer. Mozart moves
her to tears. She has lost 15 pounds and looks like a cover girl. "I'm
young again!" she shouts exuberantly.
As my friend raves on about her new love, I've taken a good look at my old
one. My husband of almost 20 years, Scott, has gained 15 pounds. Once a
marathon runner, he now runs only down hospital halls. His hairline is
receding and his body shows the signs of long working hours and too many
candy bars. Yet he can still give me a certain look across a restaurant
table and I want to ask for the check and head home.
When my friend
asked me "What will make this love last?" I ran through all the
obvious reasons: commitment, shared interests, unselfishness, physical
attraction, communication. Yet there's more. We still have fun.
Spontaneous good times.
won't love you no matter what you do and some people won't stop loving
you no matter what you do. Go where the love is !!
Yesterday, after slipping the rubber band off the
rolled up newspaper, Scott flipped it playfully at me: this led to an all
out war. Last Saturday at the grocery, we split the list and raced each
other to see who could make it to the checkout first. Even washing dishes
can be a blast. We enjoy simply being together. And there are surprises.
One time I came
home to find a note on the front door that led me to another note, then
another, until I reached the walk-in closet. I opened the door to find
Scott holding a "pot of gold " (my cooking kettle) and the
"treasure" of a gift package. Sometimes I leave him notes on the
mirror and little presents under his pillow.
I understand why he must play basketball with the guys. And he understands
why, once a year, I must get away from the house, the kids - and even
him-to meet my sisters for a few days of nonstop talking and laughing.
Not only do we share household worries and parental burdens - we also
share ideas. Scott came home from a convention last month and presented me
with a thick historical novel. Though he prefers thrillers and science
fiction, he had read the novel on the plane. He touched my heart when he
explained it was because he wanted to be able to exchange ideas about the
book after I'd read it.
When I'm embarrassingly loud and crazy at parties, Scott forgives me. When
he confessed losing some of our savings in the stock market, I gave him a
hug and said, "It's okay. It's only money."
Last week he walked through the door with that look that tells me it's
been a tough day. After he spent some time with the kids, I asked him what
happened. He told me about a 60-year old woman who'd had a stroke.
as he recalled the woman's husband standing beside her bed, caressing her
hand. How was he going to tell this husband of 40 years that his wife
would probably never recover I shed a few tears myself. Because of the
medical crisis, because there were still people who have been married 40
years, and because my husband is still moved and concerned after years of
hospital rooms and dying patients.
Last Tuesday a friend came over and confessed her fear that her husband is
losing his courageous battle with cancer. On Wednesday I went to lunch
with a friend who is struggling to reshape her life after divorce.
Thursday a neighbor called to talk about the frightening effects of
Alzheimer's disease on her father-in-law's personality. On Friday a
childhood friend called long distance to tell me her father had died. I
hung up the phone and I thought, this is too much heartache for one week.
Through my tears, as I went out to run some errands, I noticed the
boisterous orange blossoms of the gladiolus outside my window. I heard the
delighted laughter of my son and his friend as they played. I caught sight
of a wedding party emerging from a neighbor's house.
The bride, dressed in
satin and lace, tossed her bouquet to her cheering friends. That night, I
told my husband about these events. We helped each other acknowledge the
cycles of life and that the joys counter the sorrows. It was
enough to keep us going.
is knowing. I know Scott will throw his laundry just shy of the
hamper every night; he'll be late to most appointments and eat the last
chocolate in the box. He knows that I sleep with a pillow over my head;
I'll lock us out of the house at a regular basis, and I will also eat the
I guess our love lasts because it is comfortable. No, the
sky is not bluer: it's just a familiar hue. We don't feel particularly
young: we've experienced
too much that has contributed to our growth and wisdom, taking its toll on
our bodies, and created our memories.
I hope we've got what it takes to
make our love last. As a bride, I had Scott's wedding band engraved with
Robert Browning's line "Grow old along with me!" We're following
those instructions. "If anything is real, the heart will make it
plain." There are some people who meet that somebody whom they
can never stop loving, no matter how hard they try.
I wouldn't expect you
to understand that, or even believe it, but trust me, there are some love
that don't go away. And maybe that makes them crazy, but we should all be
lucky to end up with that somebody who has a little of that insanity,
somebody who never lets go and somebody who cherishes you forever.
B Tim Pedrosa
is nothing remarkable about love at first sight. It's when people have
been looking at each other for years that it becomes remarkable.