To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life.
My parents fashioned an enduring love that grew strong through lean times. Amidst the chaos of the Depression and war, they forged a sturdy bond.
Like trapeze artists, they trusted in each other, performing their routines day after day ~ letting go, holding tight, somersaulting into a life together. While my father excavated quarries and moved mountains, my mother stayed at the boarding house and learned to knit. While he experimented with explosives and single-engine planes, the housekeeper instructed my mother in the domestic arts. She painstakingly recorded every word ~ how to make War Cake with lard and raisins, how to can beets in cider vinegar and water, how to keep the fat at just the right temperature for frying Salvation Army Doughnuts. In perfect Palmer script, the teacher fresh from Normal school penned the recipes in her spiral notebook and read them aloud in the evenings to the daring construction worker that stole her heart.
It’s quiet today at the church. The sky is the color of grief. A scent of wintergreen rides on a gust of sharp spring air. Sorrow inches down the narrow aisle; in the pews, bodies shift and touch. A wash of candle light stipples the two drab olive caskets.
Enskyed in Heaven’s vault, their simple vows, to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, are ones they will honor for endless time.
What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labour, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?