Patron Saint of the Plague

Had I known St. Valentine encompassed anything but Hallmark love, I may not have chosen February 15 as our wedding day. Not only did it land at the end of reading week (I was a student at the time, writing mid-terms and papers), but I expected proximity to be a good thing: St. Valentine was the Patron Saint of love, after all. Had someone informed me thirteen years ago he was also the Patron Saint of fainting and the plague, I might’ve moved our wedding plans to June.

Fainting and the plague have been ours for much of the past five years. We have become raw and bruised, but also humble and tender. We have become more honest and thick-skinned, and sometimes impatient, but also more gentle and understanding, and infinitely more patient.

We know our run may not last the expected decades most of us get, and so we hold hands in the night, and wrap arms, and share our tears, our nightmares, our grief. We also make a point of finding humour daily, of laughing together. We have fallen and felt shamed, but we have also got up again, and felt profound gratitude. We have been in the crucible and had our lesser selves exposed, and we have emerged, and reflected the light. We are in the crucible now, but we’ll emerge again. We’ll do all these again, hopefully many times.

The crucible is unbearably hot at times, utterly capable of destroying love. It is intense, creating chemical reactions that threaten destruction. It tests resiliency, and if we don’t bend, we’ve learned, we’ll break. It is terrifying, as we’ve both experienced the death of love in our first marriages.

Still, before all this, and perhaps primarily during all this, our love has grown. I hope the future holds easier and happier Valentine’s Days for us, but either way, through thick and thin, in the fire or not, I believe we’ll be in it together.

 

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12 thoughts on “Patron Saint of the Plague

  1. Thank you Connie for sharing the reality of the journey you both face. Our thoughts for more moments of laughter, joy and peace are sent your way.

  2. “We know our run may not last the expected decades most of us get, and so we hold hands in the night, and wrap arms, and share our tears, our nightmares, our grief. We also make a point of finding humour daily, of laughing together. ”
    ….Once again so eloquently stated.
    And, so close to my heart ,because in our married journey, as well, my husband has a chronic life threatening disease . . . which continues to change and deepen the perspective of our relationship.
    Recognizing- in the ongoing epiphany- that, this is what ‘love” is.

  3. You have such a way with words. This one plays like music. I’m heartened to hear from someone in the trenches, who survived an unsuccessful first round. I have not yet found someone I’d like to share a second round with–but I sure hope I do someday soon. The crucible comes to us whether alone or together–and I’ve found together a nice place to be:).

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