Posts Tagged ‘wife’

Three Ladies, Three Loves

Posted: November 13, 2016 in Essays
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Three Ladies, Three Loves
By Norton Nearly

Throughout a fortunate man’s life, there will be ladies and love, and the number that makes him whole is three. Three tenses of love: past, present and future.

Lady One creates the man, introduces him to the destination called love. She takes his hand and guides him along the learning curve of love. Lady One captures all his early love, protects it and helps it grow. Maybe Lady One lives long enough to meet Lady Two. But no matter if they meet, Lady Two helps Lady One become past tense.

My Lady One, Marion Francis, taught me more about love in our fifteen years than either of us knew while still together. Hers was a compassionate, high expectation, strict and proper curriculum. A teacher by trade, a teacher of love by instinct, she wiped the runny noses and bandaged the skinned knees expected of any good Mother, but she also wiped the literal arse of a crippled boy and patiently taught him how to walk again literally and figuratively at age nine. She handled a handful of a husband and raised two successful Lady Twos as well. My Lady One never met my Lady Two, but she set a high standard for many who auditioned for the role.

Lady Two takes the man’s heart on adventure, sailing over dangerous waters along new and different latitudes of love, to lands un-explorable by Lady One. Hand in hand, they probe the contours of the wilds of romance. She becomes the linguist in a new language of love. Lady Two will forever be present tense, regardless of the nouns, verbs and adjectives used to make a life together.

My Lady Two, Kimberly Ann, has been in this role for going on thirty years. We have fought like cats and dogs and have cuddled like kittens and puppies. Not much is hidden after thirty years of commitment, not middle of the night leg cramps or rush trips to the hairdresser to cover the grey. My Lady Two has tolerated endless stacks of books around the house and countless sticks of obsession, cut and drying, that I will some-day fashion into walking sticks. I have tolerated her lack of understanding of the value of a few too many drinks or being too much like one’s Father. I have learned to accept her constant satisfaction with life. Yes we are beyond the wild romance days, but the love remains like the primer coat of paint on a classic car. I have tried to walk out the front door a time or two, but with doorknob still in hand, have always realized there is nowhere else better to go. Her far less erratic hand has never even reached for the doorknob of exit. Making love once in the rain is exciting like the first time you win at tic-tac-toe. Making life continuously through countless storms is like beating a chess master. And Lady Two helps you create Lady Three.

Lady Three looks up to the man, knows him as her first love and as role model for all who are to follow. Once again the semantics of love change. She becomes the compass of life yet he must captain the ship upon which she sails. He and Lady Three learn together, as unbeknownst to him, so did Lady One and he. The Lady Three topography is one of unknown adventure; future tense.

My Lady Three, Kathaleen Marion overwhelmed my heart in ways even One and Two could not. The innocence, desire and uncompromising trust of my little girl has mysteriously fulfilled me. Her joy is mine, her pain magnified in me. I know how to love fully because of One and Two, but Three is the lucky recipient of my smart, skillful, unwavering love. And now I am beginning to see her initial investigations into potential Man Twos. You see, it goes the other way as well; in a fortunate woman’s life there will be three men, three loves.

So much is the same and so much is unique in each of these three loves. They are life’s journey’s fuel tank. The Mother fills an empty tank. The Wife keeps the tank full. The Daughter begins the inevitable emptying.

Yes, I have loved three ladies. And I am whole.

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