By Susan Wood
“Rosie, look at that guy across the room with the beard!” I said excitedly.
“What?” She said with complete disinterest.
”Oh, that is the man for me!”
And as the song goes:
“Some enchanted evening you will see a stranger,
You will see a stranger across a crowded room,
Then run to his arms and make him you own.”
That is just what I did, and for twenty-five years our love song played sweetly.
As we faced the challenges of life together, our love song had many tunes. Some songs were romantic and sensuous as we carved out time for each other on date nights and on weekend bed and breakfast trips. Other songs were nursery rhymes and theme songs from Saturday morning cartoons, playing as we raised a blended family of six children. Some were exciting and lively as we traveled on mission’s trips together, acting, clowning, and dancing our way across places like Russia and Belize. But the last song was a song in the night as we faced the horrors of cancer. Singing our battle song we fought hard for ten months.
Like a diamond, the quality of love is tested under pressure; it is refined and caused to shine even brighter. As I cared for my husband, my lover, my friend, during those ten months, I experienced a love for him unlike I had ever know. His once six-foot-two , two hundred pound muscular body now fragile and paralyzed, could no longer hold me, caress me, protect me and yet as I bathed him, dressed him , pushed his wheel chair, the love I had for him filled me to overflowing. It was the most beautiful song of all, the song of unconditional, eternal love. A love given by God.
On January 19th 2008 the music paused as the conductor of the song drew his last breath. In the early morning hours my sweet, romantic husband slipped away for awhile. Though apart our song still plays, as the words of my favorite Josh Groban song says, “A breath away’s not far from where you are.” Our love song plays on.