THE LULU CHRONICLES
|Mr. & Mrs. Gary Cleveland- 10.23.71|
Today was our 42nd wedding anniversary. The Hubs missed it by two weeks. Bless his heart he tried though. Early on he had promised me that he’d make it, that we’d be together on this day. Cancer had other ideas. When it finally looked like only a miracle from God would allow him to keep that promise, I let him off the hook and gave him permission to go, to quit fighting, that whether he was with me physically or not didn’t matter. He’d be with me no matter what. A couple of days later he took me up on it. Physically, his body could no longer fight the disease that ravished his liver and just about everything else. But I meant what I said. He would be with me and he was… all day.
This morning, I woke after a good night’s sleep. The minute I opened my eyes, he was there, all over our bedroom. His closet still holds most of his clothes. The dresser drawers are full of his socks and t-shirts. As I walked into our bathroom—from the tile underfoot to the mirror over the sink, it was all him. I remember the weekend we laid that tile together. We finished the last piece at about one in the morning and we were both covered in grout.
In the kitchen the island he built stood center-stage and the copper sink he installed stood ready for my lone cereal bowl. I sipped my hot tea out on the screened-in porch he added several years ago. Everywhere I looked, stood or sat had his thumbprint. He couldn’t have been more present had he been sitting in his recliner.
When you loved as we did, death doesn’t get the last word. The man I lived with for the last forty-two years was remarkable. He made me laugh; he made me feel beautiful, intelligent, and worthy. He made me believe I could do anything I set my mind to. He showed me how to be strong. And today I was all of those things because Gary Cleveland loved me.
Everyone deserves to be loved like that. Everyone should love like that—never holding back, full out, out-loud, heart thumping, tingling love. If you were to die tomorrow would your husband or wife know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you thought that they were the best thing to ever happen to you? If in doubt, do something about that today, this very minute.
Thank you, dear Hubs for the best life imaginable. Forty-two years simply wasn’t enough, but oh, how grateful I am I had them. I loved you then. I love you now. I’ll love you forever. It was a good day.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs… It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails… And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” ~ I Corinthians 13