Thursday, December 19, 2019

'THOSE ENDEARING YOUNG CHARMS' ...



Fri, Nov 29, 6:13 PM (14 hours ago)
 

I was a young school girl at St. Mary's School in Painesville when I opened a school book and found the following poem:
"Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms
which I gaze on so fondly today
were to change by tomorrow and flee from my arms
like fairy gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored
as this moment thou art,
let thy lovliness fade as it will,
and around the dear ruin each wish of my heart
would entwine itself verdantly still.

"It is not while beauty and youth are thine own
and thy cheek unprofaned by a tear
that the fervor and faith of a soul can be known,
to which time will but make thee more dear.
Oh the heart that has loved never truly forgets,
but as truly lives on to the close;
as the sunflower turns on her God as He sets,
the same look that she gave when He rose."

I, a reader and writer of poems even then, had found this poem in a book on a shelf in the classroom, and Sister Cornelia had found me engrossed in that poem, and she told me it was actually a song. She was the teacher who gathered us all in the church after school every Thursday, to practice our singing for the Children's Choir in the Sunday morning Mass, and she took the time to sing that song for me.
I was stunned by the poem; even more so when I heard it sung as a song. I memorized it and sang it quietly to myself quite often. Young as I was, I decided it was the sort of love I would want when I was grown and would choose my partner in life. 
I was a romantic, but I was also a realist, and I told Sister Cornelia the concept of finding such love for a lifetime seemed  an impossible miracle. How could two people in our huge world full of so many people actually cross each others' path; let alone realize we were right for a lifetime together?
You never know," she smiled, and we never discussed it again.
IN LATE 1959 on a snowy night, that miracle began to materialize for me when I and my newspaper colleagues gathered for a tobogganing party. There I met the brother of a colleague; his name was Bob Moore. 
We fell quickly in love and were married in 1960 at St. Mary's Church, in front of family, friends and my newspaper colleagues. 
I hadn't known him for more than a few weeks when I was surprised to hear him singing that old Irish love song in his fine tenor voice. He loved it too; he had learned it through his high school glee club, and he told me he liked what it stood for. 
As it turned out, we were the finest of partners, and our marriage did last a lifetime. We would sometimes laughingly describe ourselves as "two matched horses happily in harness" ... forging our way through the world together, raising three children, founding and running a business together... and yes, fully loving each other.
My Bob passed away in the springtime of 2017, two years ago, when we were a few months short of our 57th anniversary. 
Right to the end, he would continue to look at me as if I had never reached that "dear ruin" stage of the Irish song we both loved. He seemed to still see me as the bearer of those "endearing young charms," and he would say so. I, in turn, would laugh and accuse him of looking at me with "Rose Colored Glasses."
In his presence, I could feel so young, though I will be 80 in the forthcoming August.
I still miss my Bob; I still feel his presence; a lifetime of memories brightens the darkness of losing him. He was my impossible miracle and will always be with me.
Last anniversary lunch just the two of us, across the table from me at Bass Lake Tavern in Chardon, Ohio