Whatever I was looking for was always you.
This is my sweetie – my reason for being. I took this picture on her 56th birthday – July 12, 2013. It was some 85 days, give or take a day or two, since her big surgery on April 15, 2013. The ensuing 60 days plus were absolute insanity. There were times when I didn’t think she was going to make it and indeed I almost did lose her on April 30th / May 1st when she developed septicemia. We ended up in the Emergency Department at Brigham and Women’s hospital and ultimately spent another 3 days in ICU before moving back up to the Pavilion where we spent another 25 days, finally getting out on the Sunday before Memorial Day. It’s a hell of a memory.
And for all of that, and for everything else that she had to endure, she was still able to take an hour and a half drive up to Rockport and walk around for several hours before we finally ducked into a restaurant right on the ocean for lunch. Amazingly, for a hot summer day, the restaurant was empty except for one other couple and that was absolutely perfect for us. We sat there and had a wonderful lunch and congratulated ourselves for surviving a really horrific moment in our lives.
As for the Rumi quote above – I have been consciously aware for the better part of my life of having been on a search for exactly what I have found with Laureen – a deep and soul-satisfying love that defies definition. When I came across this particular quote by Rumi, I immediately thought of Laureen, and of the picture above. What an incredibly strong, loving, compassionate and caring woman I did find (or, okay, she found me really and if I didn’t pass muster I would have been quickly given my walking papers). I feel so blessed in my life to have known the kind of love that I have known with Laureen. I had always felt, in my heart of hearts, that such a thing was possible, but I rarely dared hope that it would ever be a part of my life.
I fear that it is a rare thing in this life to find such a one who offers such completeness of one’s soul. As I was saying to her just this morning, relating openly with other people does not come easy or naturally to me. Yes, I can converse and generally be a “nice” guy, but to actually be able to drop all pretense and just relax and be who I really am, well, I have rarely known that in my life but there was some deep connection that I felt with Laureen that allowed me to do exactly that and to be just who I am – me. And better yet, she accepted me for that, and loved me for that. In return, I have loved her unconditionally and that is something she has never had in her life. So as we console each other on our “loss that is to come”, we acknowledge, one to the other, the great gift that we have shared between each other and we mourn its passing, as though our time together has been far, far too short.