Enduring Love: Worthwhile Advice
There are times I am truly touched. Perhaps what moves me most is seeing the love of a couple who shared a lifetime together, and yet their love is still growing. In some of our members I have seen a love so deep that it is as though the two are one soul. I think of some of our more senior members married for most of their lives who are inseparable. If one was sick or hospitalized, the spouse would never leave their spouse’s bedside. What makes such love flourish? It is a sense of love that surpasses time, but belongs in eternity. Often they have known each other since their youth, gone on to raise families, spent middle-age with each other, gone on to retirement and their most senior years together. They are eternally bound to each other.
When I see such deep love expressed so poignantly especially in old age, I wonder. I wonder what it is that makes love so strong, and what it is that we can share with each other to strengthen our own bonds among families. In that love, I often see a growing love, not one of diminution. Of course at times tragedy has tempered their joy. Of course at times there have been arguments and bickering. Despite all the difficulties, what started out as a magical attraction has turned to the deepest level of friendship and understanding in which the two souls cannot exist without the other.
If I ask such a long-lasting couple their secrets the answers I receive range from: love, to remembering the most important expression, “yes dear.” For everyone the answers must be a little different but what is clear is the commitment never dies, and if anything only strengthens together with the caring they have for each other. I often think back to what a pillar of my former congregation in St. Louis told me after I had blessed him and his wife upon their 50th wedding anniversary. He said marriage is the most difficult job you’ll ever have, and the secret, the secret is to work upon it daily.
Perhaps what seems to the casual observer to be such a blissful union of two souls is really only the result of years of tending the garden of love. What better time of the year than now, today, to nurture our own gardens of family love.