Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Love of My Life...

I met him when I was 17, the summer after I graduated from high school. I had a part time job in a library. He had just gotten out of the Army. He would be starting college in the fall and was living at home that summer. His mother worked at the library, and she introduced us.

We dated that summer and I fell in love with him, but we gradually drifted apart and didn’t see each other for about 3 years. Then early one morning, the day after my current boyfriend -- the boy I was sure I was going to marry – had dumped me, he called on the telephone, out of the blue, and asked me to marry him. I was in a stupor, groggy from lack of sleep, sick and hung over, having attempted to drown my sorrows by drinking an entire bottle cheap wine the night before. But I said, “Yes. Yes, I will marry you.”

And I did.

And now almost 39 years later, I hear the whisk-whisk sound the material of his parachute pants makes as he walks toward me. He kisses the top of my head.

“I’m off,” he says. “I love you sweetie.”

“I love you too.” And I do.

Some years ago my mother sent me a lovely book of wonderful love poems, illustrated with pictures of paintings and sculpture and other objects of art from the collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

And from that book a poem by Rabindranath Tagore in honor of the love of my life for Valentine’s Day. This poem was meant for a woman, but it’ll do for him too...

Unending Love
I seem to have loved you in numberless forms, numberless times,
In life after life, in age after age forever.
My spell-bound heart has made and re-made the necklace of songs
That you take as a gift, wear round your neck in your many forms,
In life after life, in age after age forever.

Whenever I hear old chronicles of love, its age-old pain,
Its ancient tale of being apart or together,
As I stare on and on into the past, in the end you emerge,
Clad in the light of a pole-star piercing the darkness of time:
You become an image of what is remembered forever.

You and I have floated here on the stream that brings from the fount
At the heart of time love of one for another.
We have played along side millions of lovers, shared in the same
Shy sweetness of meeting, the distressful tears of farewell--
Old love, but in shapes that renew and renew forever.

Today it is heaped at your feet, it has found its end in you,
The love of all man’s days both past and forever:
Universal joy, universal sorrow, universal life,
The memories of all loves merging with this one love of ours --
And the songs of every poet past and forever.

Happy Valentines Day!


Paula said...

A beautiful Valentine entry and a beautiful love story. Wishing you and your special one a nice day tomorrow.

Retiredandcrazy said...

What a beautiful poem. And how wonderful that you appreciate your dear husband. So many people I know don't know what they have until they have lost it. So sad.