Its been two and half years since you left this earth and during that time I have fought through many emotions: disappointment, loneliness and depression, each interspersed with excitement, happiness and elation at the births of our two beautiful grandchildren. Relating those emotions in this blog has been cathartic and the resulting stories will remind our grandchildren of your legacy of love and caring.
We often talked about how our love for one another changed over the course of our marriage and about how our understanding of love evolved even more over the course of our lives. If you remember, we even discussed the many times we each thought that we were in love before we were married.
Just for the record, my first love was during Mr. Rice’s 6th grade homeroom class when I sat across from a certain blonde who I was sure would be my wife some day; then there was the girl in Jr. High that I believed was definitely “the one” until I found out that I was “the one” of three that she “loved”. Of course there were several girls in high school that I was definitely in love with, some knew it, some didn’t.
I still remember all of my “girlfriends” with fondness (even the red head in Mrs Walker’s first grade that I failed to list in the previous paragraph) but as I matured I realized that there is a huge difference between the love that you and I shared for 35 years and what I felt during those prepubescent and adolescent crushes.
I have given a lot of thought to the different degrees of love we experienced on earth compared to what you must be experiencing now. That perfected love that you have inherited as a citizen of heaven has to be light-years removed from the love that we shared here on this earth.
9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cornithains 2:9 (KJV)
I’m hoping that in heaven you are able to remember our marriage with fondness and affection but it must surely pale in comparison to the love you are now experiencing in the very presence of God. Although the analogy falls woefully short, I equate it to the mature love we experienced after more than 50 years of living versus the puppy love of a 6th grade boy. This theory about love helps me make sense of things down here, although the multiplied difference between depth of love on earth and the depth of love in heaven is probably a factor of seventy times seven.
When I began writing these stories, the goal was to put down into words the story of our courtship and marriage so that our grandchildren could read about you and better understand your personality and character. The process of writing our story has been healing for me and I hope our grandchildren will understand their grandmother’s legacy through these stories.
Having chronicled our history together and accomplished even more than I intended by reminiscing about our life together, this will be my last letter. Even though the resulting love story will certainly never be considered a literary work of art, I hope it is an honest account our courtship, marriage, struggles and tragic ending.
Until I see you in heaven, just remember, I always loved you…