We had an ongoing relationship for decades. There were times when I sort of forgot. Times when other relationships came first. But I always watched, kept track. There were times when I was riveted, held spellbound by unworldly beauty, quite literally.
I observed anniversaries. Marked the other milestones in my life by the big events in our ongoing relationship, some with great pleasure and satisfaction, and some with a sure sense that all is dust to dust.
I am not ashamed to say that it thrilled me, saddened me and ultimately left me empty, bereaved and bereft, more so than any other relationship I have ever had, or ever will. I can without any hesitation brand it as my longest relationship.
I am going through the classic stages of grief. Anger, but I am not really sure at whom. Denial that we could be so stupid, to let this part of our lives slip thru our grasp like it was never a big deal. Acceptance? I am nowhere near that yet.
Most relationships fail because the love cools, the passion fades. The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference, the blind eye. Not the case here, the heat of my interest remains but the truth of the matter is that people who have not the understanding for what it was, not even the vaguest idea of what it meant, what it came from and what it still could be, stepped in, got between us and closed the door.
Someone once told me it takes a lifetime to learn how to live one. While I have been in this relationship, just shy of 54 years, I have lived several lifetimes, raised children and seen them flourish, watched love ones grow old and pass from this world.
The pity is that the world, now, will never know what will be missed. This relationship gave far more than it took, enriched our lives in ways that few understand and once it’s gone, once the genie is back in the bottle, we will never know it’s like again.
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy said:
“… as we set sail we ask God’s blessing on the most hazardous and dangerous and greatest adventure on which man has ever embarked.”
With those words, he put in motion American manned exploration of space. And now it’s over. When we want to go to space we will hitch a ride with the Russians.
The irony is too much.