What is love? Guest Post No. 4
Today’s Guest Post is written by Edward McAuley, who lives on the north coast of N.Ireland.
Edward was married to Myrtle from 15 Oct 1958 till 5 April 2013.
If as a man you have had a number of girlfriends in your teenage years, did you ever say, “I am in love” to any of them? Did you know what love was or now, what it is?
Like strawberry jam running down your back?
Someone said it was like strawberry jam running down your back and you can’t get your tongue round to lick it. Not my experience however.
My mother had heard Myrtle’s testimony of her saving experience whilst she was in Canada in the early fifties. Mum spoke highly of her and I said I would look out for her if she was at church on Sunday and see if she was all that she had said. I fell for her upon first sight. Hairs raised on the back of my neck and I had no hesitance in approaching her and said I had heard a lot about her from my mum. Was it love that allowed her to agree to stay in N. Ireland whilst I finished my accountancy examinations? Before I did finish, we were married.
How does one know they are in love? Perhaps, when you cannot live without thinking about her/ or if you are a female, him every minute of the day. You cannot do enough to please. You have no problems in making conversation. And time passes too quickly when you are together.
Time spent helps each to learn more about each other; how they think; things they would like to do with their lives; their attempts at doing good and disowning evil, right and wrong; reciprocal affection; reflect on how both might be aware of what God’s will was for a life together.
Love is expressed and experienced when each, of their own volition and something that comes naturally, perform little acts of kindness, buy the odd special gifts.
We made sure our differences were settled before going to sleep
In 1958 we married and during those years simple acts, gifts and short excursions out together, we got to know those little intricacies that brought pleasure. Those early years brought disappointments, a stillborn child in the first year of marriage, two miscarriages and then the blessings of two wonderful children. Her faith in God and care for me at the loss of the child showed me her love and that I should not be too upset; ‘all will work out OK’, she would say. Marriages are not without disagreements but we made sure our differences were settled before going to sleep.
In sickness and in health
In 1993 I noticed forgetfulness and a gradual deterioration in her ability to remember and in 1999 it was confirmed that she had dementia and ultimately Alzheimer’s disease. I recall her thoughtfulness about me when I was unable to bring calm to her troubled mind and I ended up in tears. She stretched out her hand said, ‘Don’t worry, everything will work out OK’.
Our son is of the view that she would have done anything, or even do without things, just because she loved me so much.
Is that love? It could be said that I expressed my love for Myrtle when she was in care for over 10 years and I visited her every day – but I never found it a bore or an obligation.
Perhaps we each fulfilled the wedding vows, freely made, that we would love and care for each other, in sickness and in health.