ANN JOHNSTON DIED
I've known him a very long time and recall many lovely shared experiences. Went by to visit him for a while. A little reluctant due to the circumstances. Hadn't seen him in years and these were pain-filled days for him and his close-knit family.
Fifty years they'd been married. Fifty years they loved each other and fifty years they were the bearest friends.
The entire family had just got back from a marvelous holiday in Galway [another one--it was what they did together, traveling here and there]. She loved him, he loved her, the kids loved the parents and the parents loved the children.
She went out into the back garden to potter around with the flowers, doing what she enjoyed, fell down and was gone!
No warning! Out of the blue! No visits to the doctor! No scary moments that suggested something was wrong! Nothing! No thing!
He'd had some health set-backs and she cared for him as she cared for her children and their children. Blessed woman!
Didn't know if he could take a visit; didn't know if he could be bothered but couldn't keep from what might have been intrusion. He was gracious and as soon as he saw who it was he knew why I was there and the pain filled in his eyes and finally spilled over. "I'm just having a bad day," he managed to finally blurt out, chest heaving and in a tone almost as if apologizing.
It's the price lovers pay for knowing one another so well and for so long. A price they're glad to pay! The agony exists because the love relationship existed, expressed in moments alone, times when they couldn't stop laughing, the happy lunacy, the fights that often meant they took one another seriously, arguments that said they held one another accountable and then the making up, the pleasure of knowing that nothing was an insurmountable difficulty, the times of fear they shared and saw conquered.
I watched his daughter Irene watching him, her daddy, flawed, like all the rest of us; watched her with love and tenderness shining out of her tear-filled eyes as he sobbed and she kept filling in the sentences he couldn't finish.
Though love had been handed heartbreak with Ann's leaving it hadn't died. There it was written all over to people who go on.
It's so wonderful to be loved. I'm not sure but maybe it's even more wonderful to love.
I know Someone from whom all humans love come and if he is anything like what he showed himself to be in Jesus Christ he must hurt with the hurt of his children, whoever or wherever they are.