Last week I feasted at Aunt Jeanne Marie and Uncle Eugene’s dining room table. At eighty-seven, it’s a struggle for them to entertain guests. But they were delighted when I came, bringing two friends along with me. For over an hour we ate great food and drank fine wine. And as we did, the conversation became richer and richer.
Finally, I pushed my chair away from the table and declared, “This is the best.”
“No,” replied Aunt Jeanne Marie, “The love of a boy and a girl, that’s the best.” Then she turned to Uncle Eugene and tenderly tapped him on the shoulder.
The moment froze. For a few seconds, years of photographs flashed in my mind. The young bride and groom. The two of them in their forties, fifties, and sixties. Uncle Eugene so tall and handsome, usually with his arm around his stunning wife.
Sitting there, I felt honored to have witnessed such a great love story.
And, once again I realized how distorted my view of love is. How too often my heart gets sucked into a Hollywood romance because the couple is young and beautiful. How I’m easily impressed by wealthy celebrities declaring unending love for one another.
But true love sat in front of me last week. And it was quiet and reserved. Deeper than anything I’ve ever experienced. And it didn’t need words. It shined through in the simplest glances. And spoke volumes in the gentle tap of a shoulder.
If we lived in a right side up world, there would be a line outside Aunt Jeanne Marie and Uncle Eugene’s door. People would come from miles in order to soak in their wisdom. Talk show hosts would compete to book them on their shows.
And they would be the celebrities of the day. Their faces beaming on the cover of the magazines in the check out line. And our young men and women would clamor to be just like them.
Ahh, what a wonderful world that would be.