Friday, June 02, 2006

Evangeline (Part Thirteen)

I believe true love comes along once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky. I had such a love a long, long time ago. There is no way to explain that kind of love. I could write for the next 20 years about him, but never come close to understanding or illuminating the profound depth of our connection. They say true love is the heart’s recognition of its counterpart in another. To this day, my heart beats faster at the very thought of his name.

Branden was a soldier. His duty was to his country. So when his country called him to Korea, he went. Six months later he was reported Missing in Action. His body has never been recovered. Sometimes duty requires us to do the opposite of what our heart wants us to do.

When I sit on the porch late in the afternoon, I like to imagine him walking down the street, coming home to me, arms open wide. Branden always looked so handsome in his uniform. I saved all of his letters to me, every one. It is all I have left of him.

When the person you love the most in the world is gone, there is nothing that can fill that space in your heart. And neither time, nor distance, nor other love can lessen the pain of losing it. It is an abyss, an immeasurable void in my life. The older I get, the deeper it becomes.

I eventually married a good man and moved on with my life. But the love I have for Branden was, and is, the only absolute I’ve ever known.

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