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It's spring time

| Tuesday, May 10, 2005

It's spring and as they say, a young man's fancy turns to thoughts of love. For the first time in many years, my "young man" was not here to greet the season. I felt his loss as the first flowers bloomed in all their refreshing glory -- the tulips being the prettiest, perhaps because I had actually helped him plant them. When I looked at the amazing colors, the brightness of them, it was like Lewis, showing his everlasting love was sending me a special gift from heaven.

Long before he left us, I was already beginning to get sentimental about "time" and its passing.We were still active, still going places -- even a mall, which was not exactly his idea of fun. But the spring breezes seemed to have brought out the young and the old, the frisky and the feeble and life was good back then.

Everywhere we looked that day there were babies in strollers, toddlers being tugged along by mothers who seemed to be in a hurry.

We saw one older lady being helped from a snug fit in a car by a younger companion, probably a dedicated daughter (like mine) who was returning in kind the care once given to her by this woman.

Then, of course, there was the very old. Being in a sentimental mood (the older you become, the more often that happens to you), I noticed one aged couple shuffling along at a snail's pace. She, a dignified looking, white-haired lady, shoulders protected by a soft white sweater, was thin and quite bent over.

The gentleman who walked with her used a cane but nevertheless he was gently, tenderly guiding her along as he held firmly to her thin arm, considerately matching his steps to hers.

I imagined that in his heart, this frail old woman walking beside him was still tall and straight, still beautiful, still the light of his life -- his love.

With my husband, I watched them walking slowly through the wide expanse of the parking lot and I thought of how it once must have been for them.

One day, a long time ago, they met and fell in love. In my mind there followed visions of a traditional walk down a church aisle where, at the altar, they made that old promise to love and cherish each other through sickness and health, good times and bad -- until, as it does to all of us, death would separate them.

Now they had come to the place where they have not much time but plenty of memories. They had weathered the storms of life together, shoulder to shoulder. They had probably made an ordinary house into a home full of love and children. Survived disagreements and disappointments and also knew times of great joy along the path that led to this day.

It's been a long time since that spring day and that old couple have no doubt gone on to their reward. The man who for many years made me a whole person has also made that journey and I am left to face a portion of life alone. But, as that couple once did, we promised to love, honor and obey until death parted us. We kept that promise. That's what true love is all about.

"Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another." -- I John 4:11.

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