Friday, February 13, 2015

True love?

The course of true love never did run smooth. ~ William Shakespeare

A friend of mine recently died. He was in his 70s and had Parkinsons and MS for years. His death was really a gift, but it's still hard. He'd been in nursing care for 8 years and for 8 years his wife, my friend, visited him twice a day to keep him company and later, to feed him and sit by his bedside.

I was with her when he died and although it was a wrenching experience, I could only view it as a blessing for him. She's adapting to her new life, but they were married more than 50 years. They got married when she was 19 and he's been her only life.

The funeral was standing room only because he was a big part of the community, and the firemen turned out because he had been a volunteer fire chief. I was fine throughout the whole ceremony, but at the end, when the family left, the pianist played "True Love" (the Cole Porter song). That's when it really hit me. This was a case of true love if ever there was one.

Not many people have such a love in their lives. I love my husband, don't get me wrong, but he's not my entire world (and I'm not his). And longevity isn't an indicator of love. I know people who've been married a long time and only inertia keeps them together. I know one other couple who I believe have a true love relationship. It's not always smooth, but it's solid and strong. 

Romance writers often write about true love, but I wonder how many have ever really experienced it? I seldom think of the romances I write in that light, except in my time travel books, where the romance was the reason for the reincarnation. In my other books, I don't think 'true love' enters in.
We never know what goes on in the hearts of others, and perhaps there many couples like this in the world. But I suspect it's a rare occurrence. If it happens to you, cherish it. And if it doesn't, don't envy those who have it and don't look for it. It isn't a thing that's found. It simply is.



Leah St. James said...

What a wonderful message, JL. My deepest sympathies to your friend for such a great loss, to her family, and to you. A love like that is a blessing, and I hope she'll find comfort in the days/months ahead in cherished memories.

Jannine Gallant said...

In some ways that kind of love is harder when you lose it. When someone is your everything, it's tougher to move on. Wishing your friend lots of strength.

Barbara Edwards said...

Even with my skill as a romance writer, I cannot imagine a love lasting 50 years. How wonderful. And sorry he passed.

Margo Hoornstra said...

Strength wishes and sympathies to you and, especially, your friend, JL. Love truly is an amazing thing. Hard to lose someone like that, but the memories survive.

Donna Michaels said...

Wonderful post. So sorry for the loss. Your friend is in my thoughts and prayers.

Diane Burton said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, JL, and your friend's.

You are so right about longevity in marriage. Yes, inertia or fear of being alone can keep a couple together. But it is so wonderful to see a truly happily married couple.