Lover's Key, Florida

Lover's Key, Florida

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Thursday, April 12, 2012


I had heard the words
spoken before
said them myself
with, I thought, conviction
deep emotion.
heard them repeated, whispered
through a kiss
believed the words
to be true
as my heart filled
with something new
pure and white
warm, but like snow
silently falling, giving
witness, making new
two young hearts
filled with only desire.

April came
perhaps there was too much
warmth, the snow melted
into the summer
when roses, not love, grew lush,
and in the fall
all was brown and shriveled
my heart was once again
through the winter that came
filled with deep, dirty snow.

ever so cautiously
the words formed again
in two hearts
while two eyes looked
into the window
of another soul
and the words
I love you
were spoken aloud
once more
but different
giddy with delight
when all the April snow
had melted.

John A. Bayerl, March 3, 2012

Today, April 12, 2012, is a special day in two ways.  Today marks 17 months since I lost my perfect partner.  In a way that seems like impossibly long ago, while in another way it seems like just a breath away.  It's still the hardest thing I do each morning, awakening to the reality that Gwen is no longer with me in bed.

On a much, much happier note, it was 50 years ago today that, while on spring break, I visited Gwen at her home in Gaastra.  We went out parking, which is what we did in those days, shared a kiss, looked into each others' eyes and said, simultaneously, "I love you."   Then Gwen, in the way that only she could, said:  "Maybe we should think about getting married."  The maybe wasn't about our love for each other; we knew that we were meant for each other.    The maybe was about knowing we would have to make some major decisions concerning both Gwen's and my future career and education plans.  The maybe was about recognizing that there were obstacles in our way, but it was never about our ability, as partners, to meet and surmount those challenges.  Now, 50 years later, as I ponder my future without Gwen, I am grateful  that Gwen and I were graced with the gift of a lasting love.

A friend recently introduced me to the idea of "It."   Many times since Gwen's death others have commented to me about how lucky Gwen and I were that we were able to find "It" together.  Yes, there is the "luck" of having that flirty young girl plop herself on my lap in the back seat of my friend's car.  Beyond that, our "It," as is the case with all lasting marriages, was the result of things like dedication, hard work, respect, good sex,  family adventures, and, over all, seeing each challenge that arose as an opportunity to, if I may paraphrase St. Francis of Assisi, "say we love each other always, and, when necessary, use words." 

In contrast, 51 years ago I was on the verge of ending a love affair with a girl named Betty Jo.  We were sure that we loved each other dearly, yet, just couldn't make it work.  In a strange way I find great comfort in knowing that, although it may at the time appear to be the end of the world when something beautiful ends, in fact it can signal the beginning of something even more beautiful.  That's what the poem is about.  It's also about believing that life doesn't end; it changes.  

I haven't written in a while, Dear. I thought long and hard about what I've said here and my commitment to always have what I write honor you.   You are never forgotten, always held deep in my heart.

1 comment:

Susie Hemingway said...

A lovely poem and I can relate to much written here especially your feelings on the time since we lost our beloved partners I quote your words: "In a way that seems like impossibly long ago, while in another way it seems like just a breath away"
Indeed it does - just a breath away... but all crystal clear in our memory and there it will stay for our eternity. Still I am so happy to read in another post that you are venturing out on some dates now. This can only be good for you. I also accept dinner dates and it is nice sometimes to talk about our love ones and to listen to others stories and the way life has 'turn-out' for them also. It is nice to chat to someone of a similar age and passes time well. I wish you so much luck with this. It won't ever be the same but it can be good and good for you also nice Man.

BTW I am not postingto my web-site at the moment there is a terrible virus attached to my name !!!! it has cause great upset but I have the brains of Micro-soft working on it now and I am hopeful that it can be eliminated. All very best wishes to you John.