If I can look back over many highlights in my life
- Learning to read
- Getting my first library card
- Having a complete and stable group of friends in both school and church
- Getting to move to Hawaii for three years
- Going to boarding school
- Doing two of my university years in France
- Returning to Switzerland
- Meeting and marrying my husband
- The birth of my two sons
- Surviving two bouts of cancer
- Traveling to many wonderful spots on this earth (so many that the list would take up too much space here)
Those same highlights also had their antonyms in the many losses along the way.
- My mother-in-law in 1975
- My favorite aunt (and who’s name I share) in 1980
- The youngest German brother-in-law, 1992
- My father in 1998
- My husband in 2000
- The oldest German brother-in-law in 2001
- My sister-in-law’s father, 2004
- My sister’s father-in-law 2006
- My mother in 2009
- My sister-in-law’s mother in 2009
- My little sister in 2012
- And those for whom I don’t remember the year: my mother’s oldest sister; my father’s two sisters, brother; my cousins, a favorite German aunt and uncle
If I list them it is because they still live on in the hearts and thoughts of those who loved them.
Today in particular we remember my husband – the words that he wrote upon the death of his mother “Liebe ist Zeitlos” became our motto for those who left us thereafter.
Love is indeed timeless, an entity that continues with or without the object of that love. If we have and share love with many in our lifetimes, there is perhaps no other love as great as that we claim for the spouse: that person that we choose to share our lives with, our strengths as well as our weaknesses, for a time walking side-by-side. No matter the length of time, no matter the outcome (divorce or death), the love that made us willing to compromise with another human being in order to be at their side, the love that we nurtured for that period of precious time remains.