Does love conquer all? I always thought it did. That was before 47 years of marriage to my complete opposite personality. There was the initial fall into love at first sight, being young and a believer in Prince Charming since I was old enough to read fairy tales. Cinderella was my favorite Golden Book. That should pretty much explain it. I didn’t expect the knight on the white horse in Snow White, or Sleeping Beauty, but close.
Having mentioned before that my partner was an engineer should explain things a bit. He was math and science and I was art and literature. And never the twain shall meet…but we did, and jumped in with both feet. As I think back to the beginning, part of the disillusionment began when a New England girl married and moved to a strange foreign country…..Houston, Texas; just about the opposite of Vermont where she grew up.
Love prevailed. We moved into a one bedroom apartment close enough to his office that he could come home for lunch. I loved this because I was never unprepared, or had unkempt hair or clothes. I wanted everything perfect and it was. I even dared to swim in the apartment pool, a completely new experience – I was scared of the drain! Sounds silly now, but I had only been swimming in brooks, rivers and lakes.
I was used to hanging wash on the line. There was one provided in the apartment parking lot. I learned that hot, humid weather, plus pollution, was not conducive to dry, fresh, clean smelling laundry. I also learned to socialize after the husbands came home from work. A nightly occurrence was frozen daiquiris by the pool. Wives did all the “regular” things you’ve read about. Clean house, raise children, swap recipes, watch soap operas, and get together on nights their husbands played poker, golfed, or went bowling.
That was the life of the sixties, far removed from the downtown civil rights movement. Our husbands were safe from the Vietnam war, most being scientists or some other profession that was needed here at home. We were naive and I think most were happy to be.
The in-between years were spent in Colorado, thankful to be out of Texas to school our children. We lived in the typical suburban town near Denver, with all that implies. At that time our kids were safe to sneak out at night to play kick-the-can or some other mischief. We all survived with a few bumps, but it was a good life. When our youngest went to college we had to move back to TX. That’s when love did not conquer all. We were unraveled, missing the ties of our children. Nothing new, it happens frequently, but it surprised us both.
So, forty five years later, three grown children who had their own ups and downs are all happy with wonderful partners themselves. Fifteen days before our 47th anniversary, my husband chose to forego another operation and get off his medicine. He had been in the hospital for exactly one month. He was suffering and I don’t blame him for his choice. I couldn’t be with him, and that is guilt I will live with till I die myself. These are things that haunt you in the middle of the night when you can’t get comfortable enough to sleep.
So, does love conquer all? I don’t think so. We can hope for it, try to make it happen, but have to concede life is. It just is. We can plan, and I’m sure the “gods” laugh at that. God, fate, gods, whatever you believe in……Believe in yourself, and love as much as you can. Maybe love will conquer in your part of the world.