Each month Soul Stories hosts a "1st Sunday's" conversation on a different topic. We aim to have difficult, vulnerable and connective dialogue within a supportive community. This past January our topic was "The People We Love".
One of our long time community members, Kate DeCamp has started a monthly blog for Soul Stories. She will be writing short stories based on each month's topic and we will be posting them here!
We met on a cloudy late fall day, the North Carolina coast carrying a salty, crispness in the air as it brushed against our faces. Marilyn and Paul were walking ahead, hand in hand, laughing about something as fresh young lovers often do. They had insistently set us up on a blind day date. Initially I walked hesitantly next to Harmen, maintaining a ladylike appearance and quiet, polite demeanor like I had witnessed everyday of my mother. He told me of his playful childhood memories, aspirations of becoming a guidance counselor, and fears of being drafted into the war with no cheerful end in sight. I told him of my love for drawing, the special moments shared between my sister and I, and dreams to start the university's art program in the fall. As the day passed our postures relaxed, the conversation flowed smoother, and smiles turned to laughs. I was captivated by the twinkle in his cloudy blue eyes, the way one side of his mouth grinned as he told a story, his undivided and genuine attention upon me following a thought provoking question he asked, and the warming ease I felt being near him.
A child’s shrill breaks me from my reverie and my gaze returns to the coffee cup in front of me and the cream shaped heart, floating upon the warm coffee. Harmen passed away 15 years ago today. I used to wonder if it would get any easier with each passing year, but now I accept the random memories and emotional ebbs and flows. I wipe a tear from my check. David squeezes my hand under the table as he nods to a comment made by Judy and Bill, he begins talking so I don’t have to. For this I love him. David has never asked me to love him like I loved Harmen, and for this too I love him. He has held me through the midnight crying and afternoon absences. He knows how to make me laugh. He silently relaxes into the studio couch with a book as I draw, sometimes we just sit there and secretly watch one another absorbed in the story before us. We dance together in the kitchen as we wait for the rice to cook and the vegetables to saute. David brings companionship into my life, and someone to love and be loved by. This love is different than the love Harmen and I shared, yet it is still love, and therefore cherished.