It’s About Time for Coffee

Good morning all! I’ve enjoyed a relaxing morning so far and am so glad you’ve made it here for coffee. I’ll admit, I started my coffee early this morning, as I seem to be awake very early these days. Hubs thinks I’m crazy to wake up as early as I do but he’s a VERY good sleeper in the early mornings. He doesn’t sleep well at night and needs his sleep. Me? I am out like a light these days. It’s nice for a change.

Coffee gets my motor running in the morning. I don’t need a pot. I just like my 1 or 2 cups unless I have company. Marz, my BFF neighbor, often shares coffee with me once the kids are at school. It’s wonderful. We can share the worries and joys of our world’s as well as solve all of the world’s problems all over a cup of joe. 

Whenever my oldest BFF and I go shopping, we have to have one specialty coffee somewhere. This, again, allows us time to solve all the world’s problems over our special java. Since we’ve known each other nearly 30 years (scary thought) we’ve solved a lot of problems, dried many tears and laughed over many funny stories over coffee. It never gets old.

When I lived up north, I used to share coffee by the potfull. I had a beautiful sister-in-law, Amy. We were well known for spending many hours drinking our cafe with cookies on my old porch or her basement. It was just what we did. We went to a family restaurant to escape the world and drank carafe after carafe. Amy passed away 3 years ago and I miss her still. When I see butterflies, certain flowers and hummingbirds, I think of my dear friend. I miss those hours but treasure the memories deep within my heart. 

Coffee in our American society is a social gathering. It’s a means of friendship and communication. In my Irish family, we drink tea. Many hours were spent with my mom over a cup of tea and cookies or biscuits, as it were. I’m missing my mom and will be thinking about her a great deal over the coming months. 

Thursday. The 15th, would have been mom and dad’s 56th wedding anniversary. It was the first one without her here. We all went to dinner with dad. He said he’s forgotten “that was today”. This week is his birthday and onward we go with birthdays and holidays. 

Family and friends should be cherished. Life is shorter than we think it is for we know not the time or place when this life will end. I’ve learned and relearned, assessed and reassessed things in my life over the last year and the one thing that is clearer than anything is that we truly need to love one another. Treat those people in your life gently and with care. Treasure them and tell them you love them each and every day or as often as you get a chance. Never let the opportunity go by to show them how much you care and appreciate them. I’m not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m doing my best. 

Weekend Coffee Share

If we were having coffee this weekend, I would be so happy since its been so long! I have had a very good week of recouperation since Monday, the day Pablo, my pancreatic drain, was removed. 

Tuesday I went off to see my surgeon with my dad in tow. I figured having my own personal, retired surgeon by my side would be a prudent idea, just in case. Hubs was working Tuesday and dad is great to have gone with me. Dad spoke to my surgeon from one pro to another. 

I am happy to report that with Pablo gone, I am finally able to work on getting my strength back. With walking and swimming, I should get back to my old self fairly soon. That is my hope so I can conquer the w orld, okay, well, go back to work. 

I also wrote a few posts this week as well! This also shows that I am on the road to my fullest recovery. I realize, although I get frustrated, that this is a slow process, but as the saying goes, patience is a virtue, therefore I must be patient with myself. I shall get there. Things are still tiring. 

My wondeful family came to see me from St. Louis yesterday. To see me! My cousin just lost his sweet and fabulous wife to cancer last week, yet here he was with one of his brothers and their mom, visiting me and my family. Tom and Barb were what I would call the perfecT couple. Barb will be missed greatly. She was so much fun to be around at family functions. Its hard to believe Such a bright and gloriously wonderful soul has been taken from us too soon. So, in Tom’s time of sorrow, he decided to visit me, to check on little old me.

So there you have my week in review. What a week of positubes ending in a day of family love and support. What more could a girl ask for! So how was your week?

Summer Is…

Summer is my favorite season. It always has been. With the exception of this summer, it means swimming, playing outside, spending warm summer evenings with friends and kids outside. In essence, it’s a time for renewal and reconnection that we aren’t afforded while we are stuck indoors on cold winter days.

Summer is a time to play in my garden and watch things grow. I love watching things grow.This year, due to my health, I didn’t even get my tomatoes in the garden and my entire garden looks like a den of weeds, as I’ve been unable to tend my beautiful pride and joy. I do miss sitting there in the mornings to have my coffee, but I hope to be able to tend it soon.
Summer is a time to spend with family. When I was growing up, I was very fortunate to be able to go on holidays with my family. We went to my family’s home in Ireland. I learned to work on the farm and I loved every moment. I not only got to meet my cousins far away, I got to have wonderful relationships with them. I have to tell you that family truly is everything to me. Growing up in a town where I had no cousins, I loved and appreciated those holidays to make the special bonds with my cousins more than you could imagine. Probably even more so since I had no sister growing up. I have only the one older brother who means the world to me, but I always longed for a sister. I saw the bonds with my cousins as if I had sisters for those weeks we were together. I know they couldn’t understand that since they all had sisters of their own, but I treasured their “sisterhood” in those summers more than anything you could put a price tag on.

One of my favorite Summertime activities is to play with my son in the back by my garden while having my coffee in the mornings. You see, he’s a secret agent and I’m headquarters. I’m base command with the computer. He’s going to save the world and sniper the bad guys with his stick rifles. Ah, his imagination. Sometimes it’s an alien invasion. It’s how boys think. You can not change that. He wants to protect and serve. I miss that this summer very, very much. I don’t miss the silly game, I miss spending the quality time with the boy I love most, my boy. He, like all boys, grows too fast. He’s my baby boy and he’s the only boy I have. He’s my youngest child. Now, he’s been reduced to getting things for me This summer. He’s been caring for me instead of the other way around. He’s wonderful too, just like his father. 

Summertime is generally healthy time. This year? Well, it’s more of a let’s not succumb to these wretched pancreatic surgery post-op complications summer. It technically is a get healthy summer, although I’m unable to swim and unable to even walk very far. I’m finally on the mend, I think, provided there are no more complications. I was even able to stay up past 9:30 PM last night. Not much longer, but I’m beginning to heal I think. 

Summer will remain my favorite season. I long to take a nice dip in the pool. I’d love to get on the tennis court. After all that I’ve been through this summer, I appreciate summer and life even more. 

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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence was “Summer is…” and as usual, our host is the extraordinary, Kristi. Check out everyone else’s posts! It’s always a fun read!


Gratefulness for Fathers

I sometimes think what my life would have been like if I had not been adopted.  What would life been like for me if I had remained with my birth mother instead of been adopted by two of the most loving, hardworking parents I have ever known.  Would she have been a single mom raising me without a father in the picture? It could have been that way, but she wasn’t thinking of herself when she signed those papers.  She was only thinking about how much she loved me and couldn’t give me the things she wanted me to have in this life.  One of those things, may have been, a dad.

My dad is a gentle, quiet soul.  He is an Irishman from the old country.  As he ages, he becomes more like my grandfather in many ways.  I was blessed to have my grandparents in my life while they were here.  My grandfather W, died at the tender age of 91 in 1981.  I remember this because I was in 6th grade and I must have had an unusual pained expression on my face instead of my normal smile.  I loved my grandpa and have great memories of him.  He was a peaceful man, like my dad.  Just don’t get them upset.

My dad is very peaceful as well.  He is slow to speak about much of anything, but his mind is always at work.  His hands are always busy and and his heart is always full.  He is one to says very little, but when you get him going, watch out! He can amuse you with many stories and anecdotes from times gone by. I could sit and listen to his stories for hours, even days, if that ever happened!

My father is the most generous man I’ve ever known.  He helps out everyone in need.  If a family member needs something and he can help, he does.  He’s always there to offer advice, but will never give it unsolicited.  If he judges you, he will only tell you if he thinks if will help you.  He and my mom had such a perfect love story.  Some of you have read about their love before.  It was a love that transcended time.  It was a love that began many years ago and drew through 55 years of wedded bliss.   Now, dad is stuck with just us crazy kids, but he’s still the happy person he’s always been.  He always has been able to maintain his composure.  But that’s just my daddy.  I love you to the moon and back daddy.  I just wish I could show you more or tell you more often just how much I appreciate you.

The other most important dad in my life is my Hubs, of course.  He took on this job when I was a single mom with 3 young girls.  Not only that, but although my girls known him for their whole lives, they were a little leery having someone take over their dad’s job.  In time, they grew to love him very much and we have all grown to rely on him in our lives.  When we were young, I used to write in my diary that I would marry him.  I was 12 at the time.  I had the only diary I ever had.  I still have that diary.  I never dreamed that it would take us so long to get married, but I thank God every day that we found each other again.

When I asked this man to just date me, he knew I had baggage.  He knew I was just divorced and that he and I would have to get to really know each other again.  Yes, we had remained friends for 15 years, but it was a very simple, carefree and innocent friendship.  In fact, I was trying to help him date other girls during that time and trying to give him hints and courage to ask them out.  I’ve never been so happy that he didn’t bother, or that they said no.

When he entered our home and my life through marriage, he ultimately changed my world.  There have been times I was not as grateful as I should have been, but those days, luckily, are long gone.  Over the years, he has grown into a man who serves God and his family.  He has stayed up with the kids until way past the bewitching hour to work on projects, he has gone out at strange hours of the night to get some ice cream, chocolate, sanitary pads, school supplies, etc, for all of us.  He is, in one word, amazing.

I couldn’t go through my life without my husband by my side.  My children with grow and start their own lives.  That is what I want for them.  I just need my husband by my side.  He is my everything.  He is the love of my life.

I am so grateful for these two men.  I am filled with thoughts of love when I think of how they have made my life better.  They have shaped my life and given me so much to be grateful for.  They have impacted my children’s lives and made them better people too, even though they may not realize it just yet.  I am truly blessed to have them in my life.

As I Was Growing and Changing

Summers filled with swimming at the swimming pool, playing tennis with my friends, playing outside until the last lightning bug was caught.  Ahhh, those were the days.  I remember them so well.  The carefree days of long, long ago.  No bills to pay, no getting up for work, no one to have to take care of.  It’s not that I would have things any other way than the way they are now, it’s just, well, some days, just some, I’d like to go back in time to visit the old days that I couldn’t wait to get out of.

When we are eight, we long to be nine.  I thought that being nine must be the coolest age ever.  I could never explain my fascination with the age of nine, but for me, I thought that nine year olds could do anything.  In my head, I had it imagined that they stayed up later, they had more independence.  It was just way cooler to be nine. Until, of course, I became nine and nothing at all changed in my life, except that I could say that I was nine.


When I was 14, I thought the world started when you became 16.  You could drive and work!  Wow, I could get a job and by golly, I would get a job as a waitress because that’s what Mary H, my mom’s friend’s daughter did.  She got one at Wag’s Restaurant and she made tips.  Everyone knew that if you made tips, you made good money.  What a life it must be if you were 16, driving and had a job that made tips.

That is exactly what I did.  Well, in the summer.  I wasn’t allowed to work during the school year.  And I got that job at Wag’s.  I wasn’t that great, but I always tried my hardest. I also was introduced to harassment, weird people hitting on me, spilling 5 cups of water on my manager and not making so much in tips that I was rolling in dough.  I worked all the time and boy, were my legs tired, but I had a job and I was so very proud of that.


Eighteen must be where it’s at.    Then you’re an adult.  Then you don’t have to listen to your parents anymore.  They are always ragging about what they want you to do.  It sucks enough that all your friends got to go away for college and your 2 choices were both in town for nursing school, so they could keep an eye on you.  You know that they said “We don’t think you’re quite ready to go away just yet” means, you can’t handle it and we are going to micromanage your life just that much more.  God help me.  I just want to be an adult already.  When will they loosen those apron strings?


I’m twenty-one, on my own and loving it, but this is so hard.  It’s hard to keep track of the bills.  I thought I’d have more money to have fun with.  God, they always treated me like such a child.  I’ll prove them wrong though.  I really will.  When I get married E and I will do just fine.  We’ll be so happy together.  They’ll see.  If he ever asks me.


Well, I’m married and it’s been a rough start.  I sure hope he does really love me as much as he said he does.  He spends a lot of his time with his friends.  My friends come to visit me, but not as much anymore now that we are having a baby.  At least I have his sister.  I’m almost done with school.  At least I finally have made my own friends here.  It’s taken me forever since all his friends are just his gamer friends and are not like me.  I’m 26 now.


Five years have past and we have 3 little girls now.  They are my life.  He’s a good father, but our relationship is awkward sometimes.  It seems to work though.  I think.  My girls are precious though.  My oldest just started kindergarten, my second one is in preschool and my 3rd is a newborn.  September 11, 2001 just happened and it’s a tragedy of epic proportions.  The world as we know it will never be the same.  I am a great mom and a nurse, but I fear I’m not a great wife anymore.  We just seem to go through the motions a lot.  It must be because the kids are small and take up so much time.


Another 6 years have elapsed.  My marriage is in ruins.  My husband left.  I don’t understand.  This is all I’ve ever wanted.  What did I do?  How did this happen?


July 28, 2006 I am marrying the man of my dreams.  Actually, he is the one I dated for 6 years through junior high, high school and part of college.  Then I dumped him.  I was bored and thought he didn’t love me.  The truth is, he never stopped loving me.  He was the one I went swimming with and played tennis with all those years ago.  He understands me like my ex-husband never did.  He is the love of my life and we will weather any storm.  We know that marriage is hard work, but he waited from 1989 until now for me.  Not that he didn’t date, but he’s only loved me.  Me! Sometimes things are better the second time around.  We hope to get pregnant as soon as possible because I’m not getting any younger.  I’m 36.  I’m a beautiful bride, even if I say so myself.


April 27,2007 Baby boy is born.  Well it certainly didn’t take us long to get pregnant.  The boy was a honey moon boy.  What a perfect, 8#, 20 inch long baby boy.  His lips are like rose buds.  He’s perfect and looks like his daddy.  I’ve never been happier and I am so happy to say that my family is finally complete.


This summer will be our 10th anniversary and I grow more in love with my husband everyday.  I can’t tell you that I wish the divorce didn’t happen, but my first marriage was not the fit that this one is.  We fit each other like a pair of old well worn kid gloves.  My husband makes me very happy and we understand each other.  It’s also so nice to have him to reminisce with about the good old days.  The day he got so mad at this brat of a kid that he dumped water on him at the tennis courts and chased him all the way to the pool where he promptly got kicked out.  He was defending his brother and myself.  Always my knight in shining armor.  My hero.  Sometimes he remembers my stories, other times he doesn’t, but he always listens to them anyway.  I thank God for this man every day and for the family I’ve been given.

Growing up is great when you’re young, but you’re always in such a rush to grow up.  Such a shame knowing what I know now.  I wish I hadn’t always wanted to be the most independent woman that I have become.  Just another reason to love Hubs I guess.  He lets me rely on him, a lot!


 


This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post with your host, Kristi from www.findingninee.com

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Open Communication

images-43.jpegSo today’s word prompt is open.  After thinking about this for quite some time, I decided on open communication as my topic.  I have to tell you that this is a subject that is near and dear to my heart.  Communication is something I happen to be very good at.  I’m a blabber mouth and you will always know how I feel about something, but that is not what I’m necessarily talking about here.  The communication I’m talking about is more the kind where people can openly discuss things without fear of admonition for their views or concerns.  It’s a way of communicating.

In our house, I find that open communication is so important.  I want my kids to be able to come to me with questions, concerns or problems without fear of condemnation or reproach and that is the home I have built.  It doesn’t mean that there is no discipline.  Believe me.  There is plenty of that when it’s necessary.  When my children have questions about those sensitive subjects, you know the ones, the ones we didn’t want to ask our parents, my children come to me.  Not only do they come to me, they bring their friends.  I’ve done more sex education in my home than you can shake a stick at.  Sometimes it can make me uncomfortable, but I know it’s necessary and I know that the information is given properly and very well.  I am, after all, a registered nurse and a mom.  I give the facts and from a Catholic viewpoint which is age appropriate.

Open communication is more than that though, Thank God!  It’s being able to speak to my husband and truly talk to him.  It’s not being judged.  It’s him not being judged, which he struggles with still.  Open communication is so important for a happy home.  At least it is in my  home.  I can’t imagine feeling like I couldn’t say what was on my mind.  I don’t always say what is there, but that is usually because I’m weighing out whether it is necessary to say or not, but knowing that we can talk about things in our home is important to me.  Knowing that my children can come to me with what is on there minds, or with any questions or concerns instead of going to friends or the internet for answers is of immense importance to me.  I am so grateful for having this gift in our home and sharing it with you.  It’s not always the easiest route, especially with a very curious 9 year old boy, but I’d rather he get his answers from me than anywhere else.

Blessings of Purpose

I wish I could tell you I was in a great place right now.  I wish I could say that I was in my usual happy place, but I just really can’t get there tonight.  I’m preparing for my surgery tomorrow morning.  Tomorrow is the day I will have part of my pancreas and all of my spleen removed thanks to my nemesis, the pancreatic cyst with atypical cells.  Bloody stupid cyst.

My husband, being the fabulous man that he is, is trying his best to put the smile back on my face.  He’s doing a good job, but in the back of my mind, I am anticipating the surgery.  How do you really get something that big out of your head? Well, the answer is, you don’t.

My husband’s purpose tonight and always, seems to be to take my mind off something or another.  Tonight, however, it is all about the surgery.  What is he doing? He and I are watching and listening to stand up comics.  The good ones!  You know the ones that actually can tell a joke without the use of foul language and crassness? Right now, it’s Ellen DeGeneres.  I adore Ellen.  She is so awesome.  Her topic for this one is procrastination.  Hilarious and not one bit of foul language.  My 9 year old could watch it.

What is the purpose of all this?  Don’t we ask ourselves that one all the time!  For me, my purpose is to keep calm and to get ready.  For Hubs, it’s to keep me calm and happy while helping me get everything ready.  For the kids?  Well, their purpose is to stay happy and carry on.   We all have a purpose in this world.  Right now, this is my purpose and my family’s purpose.

 

And Of These Roots…

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Our family circa about 1978 or so at Mackinac Island Grand Hotel

Many years ago, in 1955 and 1960, my father and mother came to this country.  They had known each other in the old country.  In fact, they had known each other since the age of 12.  The old country I speak of is Ireland.  The land known for it’s 40 shades of green, shamrocks, leprechauns, rainbows, and pots of gold.  Well, that’s what Americans think of. When I think of Ireland, I think of family, specifically, my family.  I am fiercely proud of the family I come from, or rather was adopted into.  It is the greatest family I could ever ask for.

My mother came from the midlands of Ireland.  Specifically, she was born in Mullingar, County West Meath, Ireland.  She was the eldest of 5 siblings, of which there were 2 girls and 3 boys.  My mother, who was so full of life, was adventurous, athletic, slim and feisty.  She had the hardest time sitting still.  In fact, resting never seemed to be part of her vocabulary.

Mom grew up a tomboy, but with 3 younger brothers to keep in line, it’s really no wonder.  With her athletic abilities and small stature, she had to be quick, and she was.  Did I mention she was also the tiniest of the 5 siblings in her house?  Her dad was 6’4″ and her mother was 5’10”, but mom topped out at a mere 5’5.5″ and in her 86 years on this earth, she maintained her height.  Good bones.  No osteoporosis for her!  Man do I wish I shared her genes.  We lost my mom to a hemorrhagic stroke 6 months ago.  There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about her and miss her so much.  I long to hear her laugh and talk to her just one last time.

Dad grew up in the west of Ireland.  Mom’s family moved to the west when she was 12.  It was through business of their father’s that my parents met each other.  Dad hadn’t noticed mom so much, but mom had already put her sights on him at a young age.  Dad was one of 8 siblings and dad was towards the younger of the lot.  He’s such a brilliant man and it all started when he was a kid.

Dad was the kid with his nose always in the books, as they say.  Always studying, studying, studying.  Mom thought “this one is going somewhere”. She also found him extremely cute with his jet black hair and hazel eyes.  He was the one wearing glasses in all the photos of long ago. I’ve seen the photos.  Such a cutie patootie.

Mom would go out to the Walsh farm for her holidays and was very close to dad’s sisters. It didn’t mean she wasn’t noticing the cutie though.  I may be adopted, but let me tell you, the apple didn’t fall far from that particular tree.  My husband and I have known each other since I was 10 and he was 12.  He had jet black hair and still, obviously, has his beautiful hazel eyes.  Kind of strange, isn’t it!

So, eventually, when they were of dating age, mom and dad were “courting”.  The thing is, education came first for both of them.  Mom’s family wasn’t a wealthy family so she went off to England and studied nursing.  She eventually studied Midwifery and delivered many babies.  I loved listening to those stories so much.  Another one of the things I miss so much about mom being gone. Dad, went off in a different direction.  He stayed in the west of Ireland and went to university to study medicine at University College Galway.

Okay, my husband, Canadian born, studied medicine at University College Dublin.  Yes, another similarity.  Also, my husband and my dad are not tall men.  They are both Irish, even though my Hubs was born in Newfoundland, so I married a good looking Irish guy.  Well, I think he’s gorgeous and that’s all that matters at the end of the day.  I promise, the 2 really aren’t that similar, but those are things I just happened to notice.  I have similar taste to my mom.  That was all I was implying.  Seriously!

Mom and dad were married much later than one would think.  Even though they knew each other for many years, dad made absolutely certain he could afford to marry her and take care of her well before he asked her the magic question.  They were married at the tender age of nearly 30.  Yes, can you imagine? She was beginning to thing he’d forgotten about her altogether.  They did have their happily-ever-after for 55 amazingly wonderful years.

Can you imagine knowing someone for over 70 years and then losing them?  That’s what my dad had to go through last November.  He did it with grace and peace like he  does everything in life.  He is the strongest, smartest and most faithful man I know besides my husband.  He taught me so many things in my life.  It’s because of my parents that I am who I am today.  I may not share the same genetic material as them, but as far as I’m concerned, I might as well.  I think living with the best parents in the world, although also the toughest, created me.  It formed me into a loving, generous, hardworking and faithful woman.  I am just a branch, but a strong branch, thanks to my roots.

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Hubs and me aged 19 and 17.  Oh, those were the days!

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post hosted by the lovely genius otherwise known as Kristi from www.findingninee.com.  We link up and share our work each week to finish one sentence.  Go check out the rest of the blogs and find out about our roots this week!

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Blank Looks

Image result for blank looksShe stared at the plate set before her.  It was the weirdest conglomeration of food she’d ever seen.  The blank look on Kate’s face must have elicited the response of giggles from her husband.  He had done this on purpose, but she really would never know.  The kids were to have chosen the meal for Mother’s Day breakfast, but little did Kate know that her darling husband, Ryan had assisted them in the choosing. The girls were elated to have made mommy breakfast in bed.

As she choked down chocolate cake, scrambled eggs, some fruit salad consisting of strawberries and bananas, and some leftover pork chop from the night before with peach compote, Kate thought of how lucky she was to have such a beautiful family.  She relished the thought of this happening every year, but knew this may be the last year.  She had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer and had just undergone her bilateral mastectomy 2 weeks before.  She couldn’t think of her little girls growing up without her.  She had a will to live that was fiercely strong.

Her girls, Ella, aged 4 and Emma, aged 2, were her life.  She was so blessed to have them as well as having the most loving and supportive husband.  Ryan worked so hard so she could stay at home with the girls.  How had she not felt the lump? Why did she stop doing the stupid monthly self breast exams?

Tomorrow she would start the radiation and next week her chemo would begin.  She knew how sick she would be from both.  She didn’t like to think about it, but she did think about it.  Of course she thought about it.  She was normal, for God’s sake.  And she prayed every day.  She prayed for healing.  She wasn’t sure how her girls were going to handle all this change.  She looked up at her husband.  Now it was his face that was blank.

“Honey, what’s the matter?” she asked him gently reaching for his hand.

“It’s just that I could tell by looking at your lovely face what you were thinking about.  You are so beautiful.  I want you to know that I will always love you.  I will always be here for you and we will get through this.  I love you, honey.  I love you with all my heart.  I know that you are scared and I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t, but honestly, you’re going to make it.”

“Thank you,” was all she could manage to say between the tears streaming down her face.  The blank look was gone between both of them.  There love had lasted through these last 20 years of high school, college and the rest.  Their’s was a love that would stand the test of time.  If time was what God and medicine would give them.