Friday, September 2, 2011

A Rare and Beautiful Love...

I had a fun post all ready for today.  A cute little project all finished and photographed and ready to share.  Even some fun new blogger friends to link up with.  But, my heart is heavy and I am sad.

We just came from a memorial service for a man I had, really, only just begun to know.  Let me start from the beginning. 

I met a woman almost two years ago, who I would work with closely as I chaired the Historic Tyler on Tour project.  She and I shared coffee together several times and continued to do so long after the project was over.  I came to know of her family, her interests, a few heartaches, and her love of life.  I also gleaned from our coffee shop conversations a deep love for her husband.  I came to consider her a friend.

What will be two weeks ago tomorrow, we shared dinner with her and her husband, along with two other couples.  It was a splendid evening full of laughter and conversation and incredible food.  The two of them had worked all day making cannelloni from scratch; it was sublime.  At the close of the evening, we toasted our hostess and host, appreciating their fine hospitality and generous spirits.  As wonderful as the evening had been (and, let there be no doubt, it was a fine evening) the dinner and hospitality were not what I had appreciated most.

The grandest thing about that evening was the pleasure of witnessing such a fine and special love between and a woman and a man: my friend and her husband.   I could so clearly see the deep love... and respect... and delight they had in one another; it just glowed around them.  It seemed I could have almost touched it had I tried.  There was a tenderness between them that absolutely filled the air... and my heart.  After we got back home, I remember sharing with Evan how much I had enjoyed seeing this and getting to know the husband a little bit, first hand.

Six nights later, he died in his sleep.  A perfect way to go.  One I hope for myself.  But, the sorrow and sadness and loss that my friend must feel...  I cannot imagine.   One of the things that makes me saddest is that I had intended all week to write them a note about how much we had enjoyed the evening... and how much I was blessed by seeing such a love.  I didn't get it done.

The service was beautiful.  Bagpipes.  Amazing Grace.  How Great Thou Art.  Wonderful slides of family memories.  And, the reading, a poem by W. H. Auden,  which struck the chord of deepest sorrow:

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a  juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, and my East and West,
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.

To me these words rang true as my friend's soul crying out... they could easily have been voiced from her heart.

I am so deeply sorry for her loss.

(thank you, Tesae for helping me with the author of this poem)


Chatty Crone said...

Oh Tanna, I am sorry for the loss of your friends husband. Going to be tough for her and hard for you. I want to go that way too - but is hard for those who are left behind.

Hugs and prayers,

TexWisGirl said...

i am so sorry. what a sad ending to this joyous love story - at least a physical ending. virtual warm hugs sent to your friend in her grief...

Days at Buttermilk Cottage said...

This is truely heartbreaking. Your new friend will need all to lend her their strength and concern. You've written a lovely tribute to their love. Sometimes it is difficult to understand life.

Cozy Little House said...

What a beautiful and poignant poem! As well as this post. I am so sorry. I guess I'm never to feel that kind of love. I don't want it anymore. But seeing it in others, gives me the sweetest of joys. Don't worry about the lack of a note. I'm sure he knew precisely how you felt.

Deb said...

that is such a hard thing...I just found out one of our long time customers passed last month...she was such a sweet lady...but she went fast and didn't have to that is a blessing...

podso said...

Tanna you have so beautifully expressed your thoughts and the joy of their love, and your friendship with them. "Man (or woman) knows not his/her time" do we. The poem brought tears as it expressed so well your friend's deep sorrow. Well you can still write that note. In time she will cherish that memory and all the rest when the tears have begun to fade away. Have a good weekend.

Amanda said...

What a nice tribute to your friend and her husband. I think it is such a gift to know people who share that kind of love and respect - people who (sometimes unknowingly) make your world a little better. I'm sorry for your friend's loss. I can only imagine the depths of sorrow.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tanna,
As I read this I got teary eyed. It made me miss my late husband even more, and my heart was heavy for your friend and what she is going through. May God comfort all those in need.

I'm sorry you pained by this today also.

Take care, Viola

Terra said...

Tanna, a heart breaking story and a beautiful love and poem.
I hope you copy and print and send the words you wrote in this post about her and her husband's love, to your friend.
It will mean a lot to her and she can read it often.

Anonymous said...

what a good friend you are,, don't let this worry you,, he probably knew or does now,,so sad,, beautiful peom,,beautiful post,

From the Kitchen said...

Tanna: I'm so sorry to hear about your friend. Death, of course, will not rob his wife, family or you of him. The loving and lovely memories will always be there. And it seems those memories will be quite outstanding.
I'm sure they knew how much you enjoyed the evening.
Your post today is the perfect remembrance. I'm sure his wife will enjoy reading it when the time is right.


Cheryl @ The Farmer's Daughter said...

Tanna, I'm so sorry to read of your friend's loss of her husband. (((Hugs))) to you in your sadness and to your friend for her loss. Blessings to you.

Debbie said...

So sorry for your friend's loss, and I'm glad she has good friends to gather around her. Nice people collect good friends, and it sounds like these people were very special.Wow! What a relationship.
I've been married 32 years and mine seems more like a victory! :D
I can't think of one single couple we know that has such a good marriage. What a shame!

Betsy said...

Oh, I'm so very sorry!

This is a beautiful tribute...I hope she gets to read it! :)

Emily said...


My deepest sympathy for your friend and her loss. My heart aches for her and I hope her family and friends will continue to surround her with love and strength.

Donna said...

Tanna, it isn't too late to send her that card. Surely she will love to know that you could see and almost touch the love they shared.
Praying peace for you all.

Wanda said...

Oh Tanna, how heartbreaking.

Thank you for sharing your friendship story...My heart and prayers are reaching out to her.

That poem is so love someone that deeply.

Susan said...

No matter how often it happens to us or around us, experiencing someone's death is hard to get used to. You wrote so beautifully, Tanna, I hope someday your friend will be strong enough to read your words.

Leontien said...

Oh sweetie i am so sorry to hear that and i am so sorry for your friend.

He is in a good place now although it is not with you guys.

Thank you for your prayers!

It's Just Dottie said...

You have such a beautiful heart.How very blessed your friend was to have know that kind of love here on earth.
I know how she feels I too lost the one I love the most.
She is in my prayers.

Annette said...

Yes, you absolutely have to share your thoughts and feelings w/her at this time in her life. So wonderful for you to experience a wonderful bond of love between a husband and wife.

Christine said...

I could tell you wrote this post from the bottom of your heart.
Lessons and love all rolled into this tribute.
Take care Tanna. You are a special friend and she will need your loving touch.

Honey at 2805 said...

What a beautiful tribute to your friend and her husband! It brought tears to my eyes.

a happy little life said...

Tanna, in a time when the right words can be so hard to find, you expressed them so beautifully. XOX Tracie

Lauri said...

Very sorry for you and your friend.

Kim @ Savvy Southern Style said...

Tanna, how sad. I am so sorry for your friend's loss. Hope you can enjoy the holiday weekend.

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hi Tanna, so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I know exactly how you are feeling because it is the same thing that happened to me when my aunt died earlier this year ... my cousin reached out to me through a card, asking that I write to my aunt as she was so lonely in the nursing home ... but that card took more than a month to get here, and then when I finally figured out how to get something to my aunt quicker than mail service, it was too late. She died in her sleep. It is a blessing to go that way, with no pain involved ... but it is so very hard on the family when it is so sudden. The brain and the heart never seem to catch up with one another in that instance. Sending prayers and blessings, Tammy

California Girl said...

Sounds like they were soul mates. It could be years before she adjusts. One of my close guy friends died in '03. He & his wife had the most envied relationship, much like the one you describe. She has certainly managed to go on but her heart went with him. Stay close to your friend. She will need you. Don't worry about the note. He knew.

Stitchfork said...

My sympathies for the loss of your friend Tanna.
xo Cathy

Pondside said...

Such a tender tribute to a love that you were lucky enough to glimpse - but how sad for your friend - for all of you, really.

Ana said...

I don't know what to say...:-( Just that I'm so sorry for her loss. My prayers go out to her and her family.


Solar Powered said...

I don't know what to say either. It's my biggest fear really, to be without my great love. She must be so full of sadness and shock but I'm so thankful that she found you as a friend at just the right time. A dear friend of mine told me once that the cards pouring in with sweet memories of her mother is what got her through her mother's death. I bet you should write that card, she will cherish it always.

nanny said...

Oh Tanna, my heart breaks for your friend. Such a love she will grow to cherish...but oh the heartbreak of losing your love.
You are so good with words and your tribute brings tears to my eyes.

Joy said...

Sorry about the loss of the friend. I have heard that poem before, I believe it was read in the movie, "Three Weddings and A Funeral" with Hugh Grant.

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