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cerebral palsy
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Monday, November 21, 2005

Love that Lasts-(3)

There is faith. We both know that God loves us; and that, though life is difficult, He will strengthen and help us. Last week, Scott was on call and already overloaded by the necessary extra hours he spent at the hospital. On Tuesday night, a good friend from church came over and tearfully confessed her fears that her husband, who has cancer, is losing his courageous battle. We did our best to comfort and advise her.

On Wednesday, I went to lunch with a friend who is struggling to reshape her life after her husband left her. Together, we talked, laughed, got angry and figured out the blessings she could still count. On Thursday, a neighbour called who needed to talk about the frightening effects of Alzheimer’s disease, because it was changing her father-in-law’s personality.

On Friday, my dearest childhood friend called long distance to break the sad news that her father had died. Afetr a minute, I hung up the phone and thought, “This is too much pain and heartache for one week.” After saying a prayer, I descended the stairs to run some necessary errands. Through my tears, I noticed the boisterous orange blossoms of the gladious outside my window, I heard the delighted laughter of my son and his friend as they created Lego spaceships in our basement. After backing my van out of my driveway, I caught sight of three brilliant colored hot air ballons floating in the distant turquoise sky. Moments later, I looked left just in time to see a wedding party emerge from a neighbour’s house. The bride, dressed in satin and lace, tossed her bouquet to her cheering friends.

That night, as I told my husband about these events, we acknowledged the cycles of life and the joys that counter the sorrows. We also recognised the satisfaction we felt when we assisted people with the weight of their burdens. It was enough to keep us going.

Finally, there is knowing. I know Scott will throw his laundry just shy of the hamper every night; he’ll be perennially late to most appointments; he’ll leave the newspaper scattered across the floor three out of five times; and he’ll eat the last chocolate in the box. He knows I sleep with a pillow over my head; I’ll lock us out of the house or the car on a regular basis; I’ll have a pretrip fit before we leave on vacation; and I will also eat the last chocolate in the box.

I guess our love lasts because it’s comfortable. No, the sky is not bluer-it’s just a familiar hue. We’re not noticing many new things about life nor each other, but we like what we’ve noticed and benefit from relearning. Music is still meningful because we know the harmonies. We don’t feel particularly young. We’ve experienced too much that’s contributed to growth and wisdom, taken its toll on our bodies, and created our mixed bag of treasured memories.

I hope we’ve got what it takes to make our love last. As a naive bride, I had Scott’s wedding band engraved with this Robert Browning line: “Grow old along with me!” We’re following those instructions.

The End.

Annette Paxman Bowen.

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