On Being Cherished. And Kissed.

I was cherished in this life.

Cherished by a man who determined, from the time of meeting, that I was the one for him. Determined, by me, that he was my one.

Cherished by a man who set out to show that love to me each and every day of our lives together, in word and deed. As I showed it to him.

This is the time, 4 years ago, that my beloved husband, Chuck, and I, began, so very unknowingly, our final 2 months together. If possible, as our world narrowed into physical pain and emotional trauma, our love expanded and deepened.

I was cherished in our healthy years, and in our cancer times.  No matter what, Chuck sought to love me even as his brow furrowed in distress and discomfort.

Oh, how he cherished me.  And, oh, how I remember his kisses upon my lips, on the top of my head, and on my hand as he’d take it in his as we finished dancing, and raise it to his lips, as a gentleman of old would have done.

His kisses rained down upon me on every occasion.  I recall reading a book about relationships early in our marriage, suggesting that a couple kiss consciously, rather than, say, a quick peck on the cheek.  I mentioned that little fact to him and he put it into practice immediately.  Our kisses at the door, as he left for work, or at the door, when he arrived home, lingered for up to a minute.  Sometimes we’d tease each other if we left the kiss too soon, so we’d start all over again.

He kissed me under the full moon as we sat on the curb in New Hampshire, our first weekend away together.

He kissed me under a full moon as we gazed at it in New Jersey, when I rented my first apartment after living with my mom post-divorce, and we stood on the balcony, savoring the pure contentment of having our own space.

He kissed me again under a full moon in Indiana when we visited his folks, and he came to get me, grabbing my hand, wanting me to share the brightness and beauty of that luminescent orb in the night sky with him, from their front porch.

He kissed me, every time he kissed me, with passion, with so much love, with possessiveness, with happiness, with pure pleasure…and I kissed him back with the same fire.  His hand behind my neck, or cupping my chin in his hands, pulling me to him…sometimes stooping down a bit, as he was taller than I, but just as much I loved to stand on tiptoe and put my arms around his neck and feel his arms around me, holding me closely and tightly…

In those final weeks before making our wild and unplanned for trip to the ER in southern California, something in the depths of my heart murmured to me each time we kissed and said remember this and after we kissed I’d stand on tiptoe again, leaning in close to where his neck and shoulders joined and I’d inhale deeply.  He noticed, of course, and asked me about it and I said to him I’m memorizing you…  He smiled, figuring I’d picked up another tidbit from another book.

We kissed in the hospital, and in hospice.  It was I, then, who would lean down to him, in the hospital bed, or at the mirror in the bathroom as he studied his image, wondering, I’m sure, what the fuck had happened to his face and body. I’d see that look and I’d turn him to me and take his face between my two hands and say you’re still my knight in shining armor. You’re still the handsomest man I’ve ever met

I leaned down to kiss him when he could no longer kiss me because his spirit was no longer in his body.  In that kiss that I pressed upon the lips of this man I loved more than my own breath was the love of 24 years and every full moon we’d gazed upon, and every dance we’d ever danced and every piece of my heart and soul.

That last kiss held all of the honor he’d given me, and all that I’d returned to him in our living Love story. In that last kiss was our beginning, all of our wonderful in-betweens, and our end…

My dearest, my most beloved husband…Chuck Dearing…

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11 thoughts on “On Being Cherished. And Kissed.

  1. Oh, this is such a tender post. I love them all but this one I related to very much, and cried as well. We dealt with my husband’s cancer for 10 years and yet, at 68, he died suddenly – not of cancer. He was also, as I always reminded him, my knight in shining armor (I wrote about that in my own blog last year) and always the handsomest man I knew. Like you, I was so cherished and loved and also like you, as good and ‘whole’ as it made you feel, it’s as empty and bereft of it that you feel now. Thank you for the tender, loving sharing – and for the pictures that reminded me, once again, that the man who is gone for me now over a year, cherished me so much.

      • Keep writing…your words are one of the few blogs I follow. Your posts are powerful. If you feel like it, I’d love to know if you identify at all with mine – writebrainwidow.blog.
        Thank you for your honest, beautiful
        sharings…

        • I barely know where to begin in telling you how much I connect with what you write. Your most recent piece, “It’s Your Move”…it started me thinking that I ought to create a game (though the word hardly applies), with game pieces and scenarios of widowhood. The back and forth of it, the darkness and occasional light…it would be a best seller, I’ve no doubt. One of the reasons I think it might be time to settle for a bit is so that I can have easy wifi access to read every bit of your blogs, and the blogs of others I admire. Your method of writing is so succinct, and I read it and think-wow, she really made that point so clearly. My writings meander, and are a reflection of how my mind works. My grammar teachers of old would be appalled, I’ve no doubt, with my run on sentences and lack of caps, and the numerous other errors I make, on purpose. I’m honored that you read my words…touched to the core. How powerful we all are together, don’t you think? The energy of widow/ers in this world could power a light source strong enough to be seen from space. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for reading, and then responding with words that encourage me~alison

  2. I love your pictures as it puts a handsome face to this love affair. I can visualize each word you write as if I were a spectator who witnessed this great and happy love. Because of the depth of love your words take on I can feel your pain at the loss of your Prince Charming but at the same time feel your joy for having to have been loved so deeply. It is an honor to love and be loved so that everyday without having to ask you know your loved!!! It sounds as though you both rejoiced daily the fact that you loved and were so loved.. Our memories are what we have left to hang onto. Your passion and love for this man is so intense. I know you feel his spirit as you travel the roads to share this beautiful love story! Thank you for your journey and most of all thank you for sharing it.. I hope this journey takes you to where you want to go and then eventually settle down somewhere. Only you will know where and when that will be. Meanwhile share over and over again your story. Don’t only share it with widows but with the whole world so that people who have not lost their loved one can too share such a loving end when it comes their time to walk in our shoes! Happy Travels my friend!

    • Your words touch me to my core-thank you for taking the time to write them! My entire mission in life now is to share the Love story that I had with Chuck, and the continuing story of what this life without him is like for me. If I do nothing else, right? Thank you, thank you, thank you; the Love keeps me going, believe me~

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