After ten years of “singlehood,” my boat found a safe harbor. I was 30 when I “fell in love.” In the friendship Glenn and I enjoyed for the year preceding our engagement we spent hours talking to each other. Glenn expressed the opinion that people place too much importance on being “independent” when in fact we should become more “dependent” on each other!
One day my husband and I were cruising along in our car when I commented, “You know, I don’t feel the sensation of moving towards a destination. I feel I have already arrived.” My husband who was driving nodded. “That is the feeling that comes with being married. In being together we have reached our destination.”
For Valentine’s Day I made a card for my husband on which I painted a big yellow sun and a moon along with the words “You light up my life! Will you be my Valentine?” The implication here is that if he dies I will be left in the “dark.” Fortunately there is more to the story. Love doesn’t die. If my husband is gone from this earth, his love for me will remain in my heart and continue to sustain me.
I had a conversation with one of my sons before he met the woman who became his wife. I told him, “Loving someone means giving up control over your life.” At the time he was alarmed by this thought. As it turned out when the “right woman” came into his life he happily relinquished his freedom and devoted himself to pleasing her.
Love is about giving, not taking. It requires courage to allow yourself to be vulnerable. It involves (heaven help us) trusting your mate!
Not all of us are fortunate enough to find our “soul mate” in this life but love comes in many ways from often unexpected sources. It may come through family, friends, and occasionally it comes from strangers.
When I was 23 I packed my bags and, along with friends on break from college, headed for Florida. When it was time for my friends to return home I stayed in Vero Beach and checked into a hotel. I found myself crying uncontrollably. I splashed cold water on my swollen face and went out for a walk. Still the tears came. Suddenly a small woman appeared in my path. She spoke with a Jewish accent. She held out her arms and I went into them and putting my head on her shoulder I cried “my eyes out!” When I recovered my composure I said goodbye and went on my way. Today, 60 years later, I remember that moment and the kindness and love shown by a stranger.
Among my most cherished memories is the love and support I have received from teachers. My art teacher drove to our home to tell my parents “Yvonne” should attend art school. My drama coach chose me to solo in the high-school operetta. An English professor encouraged me to write.
When it comes to marriage, the path of “true love” is not always smooth. It can be bumpy, full of potholes and detours. A good friend said to me she made a point of not saying mean words to her husband when she was angry. Her eyes were serious as she cautioned, “Once you say unkind words you can never take them back!”
It has been 53 years since Glenn and I said “I do!” We are looking forward to the next 20.