Have love stories been co-opted by romance?
To me, most love stories are the ones that live on and on and on. Romances can break, fall down, get up, fall down again, get obliterated along the way by another romance. This cycle to repeat itself over and over again. Unless one is in a long term marriage or partnership and still respect and honour each other. Not too many of those around in my observation.
I'm talking other love stories. The ones that stick around and hang out and support and sympathize and cry with you and almost identify you. The ones within families. The ones with lifelong friends. And with dogs. And cats and turtles.
I've never had a bad day with my dog. We just love each other to pieces. I grieve when I'm away from her. And she from me. Her dictionary is enormous. Her sensitivity to my moods acute. As mine is to hers. She is there through thick and thin. A love story.
I have a friend in Dublin. I fell in love with her when I was 5 and she was an import to our school from England. She had this English accent and was forced to sing a song in Irish. The class laughed and laughed with the encouragement of the evil teacher but I was in absolute awe of her lack of embarrassment. Completely unselfconscioous, she went right through to the very end of the song and even bowed. We email each other every day and send each other books we love. When we get together it is like the conversation is picked up from where it ended the time before. Sixty years is a true love story.
I think it goes without saying that my love for my daughters and granddaughter is a love story, though there is now an enormous gap in the story of my younger daughter and me. A gap that may remain. The same with another who was as precious as my daughters to me and severed contact without reason. We all have stories like those. But have to move on. To the love stories that are possible and continuous.
I was reminded of this when an old friend called today. She has had unimaginable health issues. It has almost become a joke as bits of her body break down or succumb to the cancer or heart trouble that invade her periodically. Now it is stenosis and arthritis and a hernia. It is mind-boggling. But our love story of artistic support and sympathy and occasional tears counter balanced by hilarious laughter binds us together. Forever I like to think. But forever is an illusion. Forever is a dangerous word.
I only have to count the love stories in my life in the zone of now. And I run out of fingers.