Whatever our souls are made of…

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”  – Emily Bronte

Yesterday, a fellow-blogger asked writers to offer their definition of “love”.  The blogging world responded with a series of inspiring options which triggered my thinking.  I am not one to wax poetic and so this challenge was new for me – but one for which I instantly formed an impression.

My parents were married in 1947 and remained married until the day my Mom passed away in 2010 – my Dad still held her hand as she lay on her death-bed.  Although I gave Dad privacy, it was difficult to not listen in as I was curious about what it must be like to him to say good-bye to his love of 63ish years.  “We have had a good life.  We did so much together.  There were some tough times, but there were more good.  It is time now, to rest.  We travelled to many places in the world and shared so many things – together you and I.  It’s okay to go now.  It is time to sleep.  I love you, my dear, with all my heart.”

I am still awe-struck when I think of this monologue.  How did Dad have the courage to sit by her bed and say good-bye?  How did he not break down and cry?  He was a rock.  He had always been her rock.  He was there when she needed him the most as she had been there for him.  I still fall into a puddle on the floor when I think of that moment.  It was so intimate – only he and she really knew what was meant by his words.  Whatever they meant, his and hers were one in the same.  Years and years of shared experiences had protected them from life’s storms, from temptations, and kept them loyal to one another.  Even on her death-bed, Mom held onto Dad’s hand. She was not conscious, but I know that she heard every word he said and wore the strength he offered to her – to love her and to protect her.  Their love was not simply poetic, it was something that could never be captured by anyone else.  It was private, exclusive, intimate.

My husband, Kevin, and I will be married 24 years this summer.  There has been a lot of life that has happened over that time to include the birth of our three children, several job changes, moves, and deaths.  All of these experiences have built common ground for us – a place where only “we” can meet.  It is a sacred place to us – private, exclusive, and intimate.  This place became ever-so-much more complex during our battle with my cancer.  Here, we found trust, loyalty, and friendship.  “Till death do us part”, we recited so many years ago, not fully understanding what that actually meant.   In the wee hours of the morning, when the rest of the house is in the dark, Kevin and I talk about life.  We can process meaning and decipher life’s code.  We do this together.  We untangle our challenges together.

This team-work is not something that was born over-night.  I know when we were first married, I had so many more “i” moments than “we” moments.  I have learned, over the years, to be less independent and cocky.  I have learned that I can depend on Kevin and that he sometimes (yes, I’ll admit it) knows best.  I walked the tight-rope of cancer and relied on Kevin to guide me.  When I slipped, he caught me.  When I wanted to quit, he encouraged me.  When I was tired, he helped me to bed.  Together – we have walked this cancer journey.  It has become “ours” – something inexplicable.  It is something that no amount of explaining can explain.

How did Kevin have the courage to sit by my bed while I was so sick?  How did he not break down and cry?  He was a rock.  He has always been my rock.  He was there when I needed him the most as I have been there for him.  I heard every word he said to me along our journey and wear the strength he offers to me – to love me and to protect me.  Our love is not simply poetic, it is something that can never be captured by anyone else.  It is private, exclusive, intimate.  It is ever-evolving and it is ours.

And so, my definition of love?  It is a life that is shared.  It is a journey that is shared.  It is the moment when the fabric of one’s spirit becomes the fabric of another.  No one person experiences it the same way – nor can it ever be replicated.  It is something that cannot be found, but rather, must be created.  It is ever-changing.  For me, it is my life with my life-partner, Kevin without whom I would be lost.

“Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.”  – Emily Bronte

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About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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24 Responses to Whatever our souls are made of…

  1. Gwen K says:

    So pleased that this tough journey has brought the two of you closer. Your love has truly stood strong through your struggles. Love you both.

  2. Janine Baines says:

    I need a Kevin. Do you think you could put your order in for me? Or at least keep your eyes open for a clone. Love you both. Have a great day. Happy Valentine’s day.

  3. pepe says:

    Heart touching post..you are lucky..

  4. hopebringsstrength says:

    I LOVED this intimate and honest sharing of Love. Thank you for that. As your dad was the perfect match to your mom, so is Kevin the perfect match to you. Sometimes we are blessed with insight and we not only figure this out early on in our life, but we celebrate it and rely on it all the way through. Through thick and thin, through smooth and rocky, through I and we, they are exactly what we need…exactly when we need it. Much LOVE to you both!

    • inmycorner says:

      Thank-you, Deb. I think this one was long over-due. I just saw some really “light” comments about love and couldn’t take it anymore. Then – it dawned on me that maybe my insight and experience was something I needed to share. Happy Valentines to you!

  5. A soul mate, yes! The same!

  6. That sure sounds like love. ❤

  7. Susan says:

    Amen and amen – love what you have to say about long term love. Another blog that spoke to me was this one. http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/02/how-real-people-really-make-love/

  8. Gallivanta says:

    My mother and father are coming close to that time of good-bye. They probably will not speak as your father did but the feeling will be there, all the same. A blogger left this comment on my post about longevity and love. I found it as lovely as your Emily Bronte quote : ““What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strengthen each other in all labor, 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?”
    George Eliot, Adam Bede My parents celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary this month. I hope you will be equally blessed.

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