Sunday, April 12, 2015

We Were Sweethearts

The two men stood alone facing the casket of my mother. Both grieving in their own way. Both feeling an aching loss. One was my father who had been married to her for 53 years, the other was a childhood sweetheart.

There was never any doubt that my father had loved my mother and that she loved him. They were a part of each other and had a bond that is rarely seen. Their love was something precious and cherished. She had died unexpectedly. So quickly. So quickly that it took our breath and left us gasping for air. We didn't know how to go on. She was just that kind of person. She was life. She was joy. When she left a room it was empty.

But here was this other man. The one who had always teased my father that he had 'got a good woman' and that she was 'still the prettiest girl in the room'. Of course he never took it any farther than that. He knew how much they loved each other. They had something sacred. Something special and he knew it. But here he stood, bent with age and grief, trying to compose himself.

After a few minutes he said these words to my father: 'you know we were sweethearts. Then you had to come along. But you were good to her. I'm glad.' Then after several minutes he ended with 'you know, I never stopped loving her' to which my father replied 'I know. Its okay.' My father never felt threatened. He know the bond they had and how strong it was. He understood how someone else could love the love of his life.

How can you be a person like my mother and not have people fall in love with you? She was so vivacious! She was always laughing and smiling and full of life. My father knew this. He knew the prize he had caught and he showed her everyday of her life. My mother lived her life to the fullest and some of us got to share that life with her. We were blessed.

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