Just Because Two People Fell In Love
When we were young, when our life together was just beginning, we would drive out to what felt like the end of the world, easy driving, laughing, talking, Westhampton Beach, Shinnecock, sometimes turning at Sag Harbor, sometimes going straight to Montauk. Passing farms, furrowed rows and rusted tools, whitewashed potato cellars and meadows, green grass, horses and cows, we held hands and dreamed of our tomorrows.
I remember looking at the big white houses with their green roofs and shutters, window boxes stuffed with red geraniums, hedges lush with rhododendron blooms thinking that if some of my favorite wishes would come true I’d be in a home just like these with him by my side. Maybe we’d have a little boy who looked like him or a sweet little girl I could dress in lace.
Like the turning of the windmill blades, the days and weeks and months went by and there was a white house with green shutters. Not quite as big as the houses of our youth and not in Amagansett but plenty big enough for us and our girls, one who loved lace and dress up and one who loved soft and cozy, looking a bit like him and a bit like me and beautifully themselves. And both so loved by us.
We came with our little ones and shared our secret places. (Well, truth be told some of them we saved just for us.) Lighthouses, and souvenirs, farm fresh vegetables at Doug’s Vegetable Patch, the girls and I would laugh and tease their father asking when he had become a farmer since his name was Doug. Picking fresh red apples, searching for the best pumpkins and lips stained with strawberries we’d welcome our summer and our autumn. Camping in a tent and a pop-up on the beach, thinking we were almost there when we passed Stephen Hands Road, when really we still had a ways to go. Storms and monopoly games and yummy, sticky marshmallows, hot dogs on the grill, bacon and eggs on a propane stove, inflatable rafts on the bay and us. The four of us together, dreams coming true, so blessed.
Sometimes, just the two of us would run away and of course we’d drive east feeling lighter as we passed Quogue and Southampton, Water Mill and Wainscott. We’d hold hands and whisper the words that were only for his ears and mine, he carved our initials in a heart on a tree and I drew our names in a heart in the sand. He’s logical and I’m romantic. Hmm maybe we’re both romantic. We’d talk about the future and what we hoped to do, and the joy we felt because of the things we’d already done. We’d sit on the porch of our room and listen to the ocean waves crash against the sand as the stars filled the sky and we shared our love.
Sunny, sandy beach days, silly costumes, jewel colored leaves, Christmas trees and crunchy snow, seasons fly and we didn’t need to run away to be alone, the girls had other things to do and many friends with which to do those things. I filled pots and gardens with geraniums, rhododendron, hydrangea and daisies and the swing set was replaced with a garden swing. No little ones were running or digging in the yard, so I filled it with flowers and plants creating a garden, as the girls, our true flowers bloomed and grew. Busy as we were, we needed respite the weathered cedar, the ginger bread mouldings, wisteria crawling across the roof of Bayberry, the release of our breath as we passed Second House Road.
Parties and limos, first gowns and boyfriends our days moved along as swift as the tide. Lulled by the summer breeze of forever tomorrows we watched our girls become women as our love matured like the bouquet of the finest wine. There were fewer dreams being dreamed but more dreams coming true. A time of question and change: graduation and college choices, business and career changes, money questions, lots of questions and a few good answers.
Visiting Yesterdays Treasures remembering and savoring our own treasures, we counted our blessings. The farms gave way to vineyards and we marveled at their knotty beauty, trained along the trellis, their perfection a calming meditation. Sharing clam chowder and lobster rolls we discussed treatment options and clinical trials, who to tell and when and how to believe in hope. Ours was always a positive love, we had weathered our share of sadness and yet we relied on each other to comfort and protect through life’s storms.
And so, as the mourning dove nestles under the wing of her mate, I did the same. Train rides and blood counts, wigs and promises that things would be ok we moved through days as rough as the water at Turtle Cove. Friends and relatives, conversations of have I ever told you, bowls of soup, cascades of flowers and a wall of cards. Pachelbel Canon, sweet violins, Eye of the Tiger, strong survival, love songs and rosaries, kisses and smiles accompany the journey to wellness.
Our anniversary always starts the Christmas season for us, two weeks before Christmas we decorate and celebrate with our girls and then off we go, just the two of us to our get-away. Christmas lights reflecting off the ice at Town Pond, evergreen wreaths, velvet ribbons against white picket fences. Anticipation for our weekend and for the new year ahead, gratitude for health and a love that endures, incredulous at the dreams that we dreamt that came true, all because two people fell in love.