I have watched two people terribly in love negotiate “till death us do part”. Just a few months ago they had defeated the first round of a very rare cancer in Jon.
Jon had returned to teaching, and he has always been handsome, tan, fit. They lit a room when they walked in together.
The meds to hold the cancer at bay were losing ground. More aggressive meds were needed and then it looked as if he would need surgery for kinks and obstructions in his small intestine.
Suzanne, cheerleader for life, outlined the three possibilities. Homerun was where they resected the bowels and took out both obstructions in one fell swoop. A double would be bypassing the obstructions and Jon would wear a bag. The third option was not worth mentioning.
The third option was the reality to which Jon awoke. His digestive system no longer was at his disposal.
Brave and loving are two words that weave together in some couples. It is a dance that they can do with great abandon when the times are jubliant, and a dance which they can wordlessly move to, together, when the night is long and the end is near.
He was drained but listened to her, I mean looked at her to talk to her.
She had gone beyond any strength she knew, and still she tried to get his smoothie right when every taste bud had betrayed him and he didn’t know what to tell her. Nothing she could put in a blender would bring him back.
She doubted that she could go on with out Jon, and then she realized that everything he had ever given her, every moment, every kindness, every admiring glance — she still held every one of them.
In fact, no one can take them from her.
The tears, the last embraces, last words, and last breath. She keeps them all for the both of them on this side of death. Brave lovers get to keep everything.
Jon keeps them on the other side, for they share Christ, share resurrection, and will be friends again.
Here is the craziest hope for Heaven. All that Jon and Suzanne held here they have in Heaven with each other, and the children, and their moms and their dads from whom they learned how to give each other a life long love. Jon is living in it all now. In a heartbeat or two, Suzanne will join Jon in that great joy.
Oh, and they have Christ, and they knew one deep secret. Loving Christ, and loving your soul mate strengthens each love, tempers each, learns from each. For a while, they will learn without sensing the presence of the other, only sharing the Presence of their Beloved Lord.
Which is why I think they are still in Love.