I have written about and thought about and prayed about two people that I have never even met – but they have impacted my life and I am sure the lives of many others. They have done this by being completely open and honest about what it going on in their lives. I’m speaking of Yen and Jesse of Two Lucky People.
Their love has been such an inspiration – regardless of your orientation. As I have said, it stands as a monument to the truth AND the power of love.
Yen wrote in February that: “When hope to rekindle memories starts to wane, when your lover is changing, deteriorating, it becomes a challenge to keep loving. Every day is a lesson in patient loving. Every day you relearn how to love again.”
And it’s that relearning to love again I mentioned before. There are three stages of Love. The first is the infatuation, the second is the romance. The third and most difficult is love – because that is a conscious choice. You can’t go to a mall and find a store for it, or get it from an email. Love is a choice. Sometimes the three stages blend, and we can move between them almost instantaneously, but in the end – it is the conscious love of two people that seems to hold everything together.
As I have said before, they epitomize to me the power of the wedding vows that people seem to take so casually today. These very old words, that seem so old fashioned carry tremendous power – and truth.
I take thee … to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish …
To my mind, that should cover a true love relationship. And, each part requires choice – better or worse, richer or poorer, sickness and health – to love and cherish. This is from Yen’s latest post:
This cancer continues to pick at our lives like a vulture.
At home, Jesse is in constant discomfort. He eats like a bird, yet vomits bagfuls every night. Walking down a block is impossible. Whether in the day, or at night, he drifts in and out of sleep, in a cycle of painkillers.
I wonder if there isn’t a moment that he wakes up, and for a few seconds, forgets that he is dying.
For the survivor, forgetting is a difficult conundrum. In wanting to capture every moment, what one recalls in searing detail only renders the loss more acute. Though love and pain make poor partners, each is inextricably twined with the other. Love gives pain comfort. The latter legitimizes the former.
How do we forget one without the other?
I cried hard today in the town car on the way back from the hospital. It did not last long, probably for less than a minute. The tears stopped as suddenly as they had come. It happened soon after we got into the car, when Jesse took my hand and said to me: “I am so happy to be with you.”
Hopefully, you will read the entire post for all that was said, but the wonder of their love shines as a beacon during this very dark time. It was during all this time I realized just how much of an illustration of the vows these two humble people are.
I spent much of the afternoon and evening grieving for them and with them. It started with the title of the post: Love to pain: Don’t forget me…
Jesse summed it up in one sentence: “I’m so happy to be with you.”
Once again, (as I looked at what would be a lover’s side of the bed covered with magazines) I want that kind of love. A conscious choice – that no matter what we would carry on…until it was time for the last part of the vows – till death do us part.
But I also want what is right…and for now, it’s better for me to be alone for the right reasons – than with someone for the wrong reasons. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this before – but someone in England wrote me one time that they were not looking for someone to go out with – they were looking for someone to come home to.
As I looked back over the vows, I realized that there is a part of them that means: in the long run – shouldn’t we do that with everyone we care about? What a change that would make…personally.
As usual when I’m upset or grieving, I turn to poets who can say things much better than I can manage.
You are carrying me, full consciousness, god that has desires,
all through the world.
Here, in the third sea,
I almost hear your voice: your voice, the wind,
filling entirely all movements;
eternal colors and eternal lights,
sea colors and sea lights.
Your voice of white fire
in the universe of water, the ship, the sky,
marking out the roads with delight,
engraving for me with a blazing light my firm orbit:
a black body
with the glowing diamond in its center.
–Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881-1958)
I have a feeling that my boat
has struck, down there in the depths,
against a great thing.
–Nothing happens? Or has everything happened,
and are we standing now, quietly, in the new life?
–Juan Ramon Jimenez (1881-1958)
–exchanging vows miniature by David Gregory
–crashing waves 1 by Mark Henspeter