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4.18.2011

LOVE FOR A LIFETIME

As he stood in front of me in what appeared to be a flannel pajama top with his weathered dress pants and eyes that had lived a lifetime, he kept referring to his wife, Mary Lou.  So often did he mention her that I began to see there was something special between he and Mary Lou.  Since he was in his upper 80's I wondered if maybe she had passed away and he just couldn't move on easily.  Finally I asked if Mary Lou had died.  Tears filled his eyes, "Yes," he said, "we were married 58 years."  He shared of loving her his entire life - that there was no one like her that he ever knew.  With a look of absolute adoration, as though he was replaying a lifetime of memories in his heart and mind, he shared, "There was no where we went without the other.  If I went to the hardware store, she went with me.  If she had a baby shower and I couldn't go, she didn't go without me.  We walked, canoed, laughed.  She had a smile that lit up a room.  She was the one who taught me what love really is.  It was that way for 58 years.  It was real love every day and no matter how the years passed our love stayed new."  If I were to come to his house he stated, I would think Mary Lou was still there in body.  He said he talks to her daily and she is still part of his heart, mind and conversation.  I connected to every word he said seeing myself at his age feeling the same thing he was saying.  Sharing with him of being recently remarried after a 25 year marriage and finally finding a soul love, I told him I knew what he was talking about for the first time in my life.  I said I felt blessed and knew what I had been given by God was a special gift in this second half of my life.  About that time, my husband stopped in to take me to lunch.  I introduced him to Dick.  With cloudy eyes from age and fresh memories, he took both our hands in his, "Doug, love her every day.  You have found something special and magical and I can see that."  He spoke with a lifetime of love and experience, "And if you don't, well it's a good thing I still love Mary Lou!"  Both Doug and I had tears in our eyes.  When he bid us farewell and bestowed his generous spirit of love upon us, we turned to each other.  Fast forward time and we knew that was us at 85 years of age.  He loved the love journey of a lifetime he had shared with Mary Lou.  I too so loved this journey of love I shared with Doug.   His grief was outshined by the power of love.

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