Who knows how long I’ve loved you, you know I always will.
Shall I wait a lonely lifetime? If you want me to, I will.
For if I ever met you, I didn’t catch your name;
But it never really mattered, I will love you still the same.
Love you forever and forever, love you with all my heart;
love you whenever we’re together; love you when we’re apart.
And when at last I find you, your song will fill the air;
Sing it loud so I can hear you. Make it easy to be near you.
For the things you do endear you to me, Oh you know, I will. I will.
(Lennon, McCartney; permission pending.)
The regular members of the grief support group watched on in silence as the frail old woman hobbled to the podium. Although it was obvious from the vast network of wrinkles lining her face that she couldn’t possibly be a day under 85, the thick, curly, snow-white waist-length ponytail and bright blue eyes lent a certain vestige of youthfulness to the woman’s appearance. After tentatively reaching out to adjust the mike, she dabbed at a tear that threatened to stray down her wizened cheek.
“Hello, my name is Melody McDonald and I’m here because a friend of mine suggested that I come and share my story with you. It’s a very long story, but I will try to keep it short; time is running out, and the story needs to be told.
“I’d always thought that the term «falling in love» was odd, because I’d always envisioned it as a raising of the spirit, an enlightenment of the heart. And so it was rather ironic that day at the airport; I wasn’t paying much attention where I was going as I walked towards the customs area. The loudspeaker must not have been working very well, and I was straining to hear the sweet melody with the slightly Irish lilt to it when I ran right into a very tall man with the most delicious twinkly blue eyes. I fell at his feet, as he did mine, and when he offered his hand to help me back to my feet, I KNEW I had fallen in love. And, do you know what? So had he.
“Shortly thereafter, he moved into my apartment. Never had I been so happy as I was in the time we were together; we were so much alike in so many things. Can you believe that in the five years we were together I could count the times we quarreled on one hand? It’s true! We loved the same music, our political views were the same and, quite ironically, we even had the same degree in the same subject.
“And he was so sweet. He’d come in while I was working at my desk and just come over and give me a hug, then stay for a bit of conversation. He loved to talk, and talk, and talk… And when we watched TV in the evening, we often had no idea what was going on because of the stimulating conversation. Boring? Never! Conversation interspersed with music: unbeatable!
“And then…he died. He just left: one moment he was there and the next, he wasn’t. Only five years instead of the lifetime I had envisioned, with the two of us growing old together. I was sixty-one, and that was thirty-eight years ago.” The old one woman stifled a sob before continuing, “At times, the pain of his loss is unbearable; I try to put on a brave face, but I miss him…” She stopped as the sweet strains of a lilting, Irish sounding melody filled the air. The people rushing to the podium stopped abruptly as Ms. McDonald fell at the feet of a tall, slim man with twinkly blue eyes.
© “I” is for I Will, a Long Story Shortened, 2014 Mary Purpari