Today is my fortieth wedding anniversary. I hope you’re not becoming weary of this old guy reflecting about things from the past. (I do sometimes become a little bored with myself, to tell you the truth.) I’ve always been a very forward-looking person, a “visionary” as some people have said, and have always taken pride in that. But when it comes to true love such as Holly and I had, I only have memories of past experiences to sustain me… or so I thought until recently.
I am going to tell you about a recent experience which proves to me the truth of what I have been saying all along: that Love Is Eternal.
(Oh yes, I’ve always believed it as I’ve said it, but it’s great to receive a little affirmation of your beliefs every once in a while—and I got it in spades a week ago when I made a remarkable discovery.)
Before I tell you about this experience, I must take you back nineteen years to August 1993 when Holly was dying and we were both trying to come to grips with how each of us would go on when we parted at the inevitable fork in the road.
We were seated together at breakfast eating raspberries in cream. We had been married for 21 years and had been a couple for a quarter century if you count the years before our wedding. We’d grown up and matured together through so many years of hardship in which we’d drawn on one another’s strengths. The prospect of separation was unnatural and frightening to both of us.
In preparation for the delivery of an eulogy at her funeral, I had been researching catasterisms—a literary tradition in ancient religions and mythology in which the souls of the dead are said to become stars and, in the case of great souls, constellations—and I had an idea for a way for us to always experience moments of connection no matter where or when we might find ourselves after her death.
“Let’s pick out a star that we can each observe wherever we are and use it as a meeting place,” I suggested.
“That would be nice,” she said as she touched my hand.
I can’t even guess how often I have gazed on that star in the nearly two decades since Holly’s death and have communed with her spirit there. Its presence has been a comfort and a source of encouragement to me. As long as the stars blaze in the nighttime sky, I will always be able to be with her—that is, in those months when this particular star is visible. There is a long stretch each year when it is not.
Now here is the point in our story which brings us to the present day.
I have to tell you that I am no astronomer. At the time I created that raspberry star map, my knowledge of the stars (like most other city people) was rudimentary at best. It is only since I have been living at Estrella Vista that I have been able to observe the long cycles of the risings and settings of stars and constellations and have begun to use their passage across the heavens as a kind of calendar and method for time-keeping.
So perhaps you will appreciate my amazement and awe at the discovery I made last week: that the very first day this particular star rises above the eastern horizon to make its annual return, just before sunrise, is on Holly’s birthday.
It’s like Holly’s spirit is “reborn” for me every year—and on of all days but her actual birthday!
I promise you, I didn’t plan it this way. It is a mystical coincidence, an affirmation that our cosmic “meeting place” is more than just the haphazard invention of a lovelorn widower, but an inspired and real thing. It is proof enough for me that our true love is not limited by human bounds of time, place, or mortality.
True love is indeed eternal.
Groove of the Day