When a beloved spouse passes away; do you
really and truly know what you have lost?
David Wesley Tonkin
Please take some time to think about your spouse today. Happily, wistfully and lovingly take a moment … as often as you can to appreciate that rare and priceless gift of love, sheer fun, understanding, compassion and companionship you have been granted.
I am doing a lot of that now; since the passing of my beloved Elizabeth. I also think of all the things I should have said to Elizabeth; and the words I wanted to say but never did. Expressions of joyous gratitude I owed her for the most precious gift of her love and constant kindness. It is a bit too late!
Elizabeth and I were married for 42 years. A period; almost an eternity, that encapsulated all the mountains-high and valleys-low of a married relationship. In that time we created hundreds upon hundreds of unique and often blissful memories; from all over the world. Memories like 10 days of April in quixotic Paris; with blooming Apple and Cherry trees and carpets of daffodils … and warm, lazy sun-drenched days and moonlit nights on Caribbean beaches with mellow steel-drum music as a background theme; and a Rum and Ginger Beer “dark-and-stormy” or three as conversation fuel! How can I ever fail to remember Elizabeth’s incredibly powerful, painful and evocative recounting of standing in solitude in Nelson Mandela’s cell on Robben Island during a visit to Cape Town in South Africa in 2006?
There are also the warm, fulfilling and peaceful memories of laugher over candlelit dinners and long rambling conversations around roaring fires on chilly autumn nights at a quaint little hotel … on our trip to New York State’s wineries around Seneca Lake. Then there is the tumult of thousands of everyday memories … those jubilant little gems of circumstance and happenstance that fuel smiles whenever they are recalled. Each precious and unique in a “necklace” that encircles your life.
Then there is the gift of unequivocally paramount significance and everlasting joy. Two fine children who have gown and evolved into people I am proud to call my role models! Yes! They both presented us with the often perplexing challenges of youth burgeoning towards adulthood; yet they have blossomed into highly intelligent, thoughtful, caring and significant contributors to the societies they live in. They have already achieved so much to be proud of … and make a father even prouder. They really are brilliant reflections and vibrant tribute to all that is noble, and everlastingly beautiful in their mother.
Fortunately Elizabeth was able to joyfully see, experience and contribute to the beginning of a future filled with promise and unbridled hope for our utterly beautiful Grandson (No! Not a grandfather’s biased opinion … those who have seen his pictures will agree with alacrity!) A young man who will immeasurably benefit from parents who work assiduously as a team every day to make his life a place of remarkable love, caring, education, solid life values and fun!
With all of the wonderment I have described in the previous paragraphs there is a gut-wrenching price-tag. I have also spent time in self-evaluation and harsh refection. I know I did not do or say anywhere enough that unequivocally said to Elizabeth … thank you for being the warm, loving and unforgettably vibrant core of all that is good, whole and significant in my life. That is why at the very beginning of this post I imparted the suggestion … “Please take some time to think about your spouse today. Happily, wistfully and lovingly take a moment … as often as you can to appreciate that rare and priceless gift of love, sheer fun, understanding, compassion and companionship you have been granted” Do not wait; communicate your love and gratitude today!
I close this wish for the future with two excerpts from the exquisite and poignant “Seasons in the Sun” lyrics composed by Jacques Brel …
“You gave me love and helped me find the sun
And every time that I was down
You would always come around
And get my feet back on the ground”
And then …
“We had joy, we had fun
We had seasons in the sun
But the wine and the song
Like the seasons have all gone”
Please remember to communicate and share the joy! Yes … I remember Elizabeth and I sitting at a table in the Chelsea Dinner Theater in bohemian Hillbrow, Johannesburg (1972) listening to that song in the musical “Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris” I do not remember if I told my Libby how much that night sparkled in my memory!