Friday, October 28, 2016

Lost & Found

     Today at work I had a small lovely moment and then a grand love story.  We'll start small.  My last name is Sullivan and my middle initial is A, for Ann.  For years, whenever I've signed my full name I include the A, but it bleeds into the Sullivan,  My husband finds that amusing and calls me O'Sullivan. I then frequently make a joke about us dropping the O when we got off the boat.  I didn't take my husband's last name when we started on this journey, because my last name is the only good thing my father ever gave me.  My husband and I discussed it in advance, and he was totally cool with it, by the way.
     Yesterday I got to help a wonderful older Irishman set up an account.  His last name was O'Sullivan.  This amused me greatly.  I sent a follow-up email last night, and when I got in this morning, he answered me.  He said he hadn't noticed that my last name was Sullivan and wasn't that brilliant that I was a member of the clan.  That communication was a delight to receive.  Later in the day, I got to hear a wonderful love story.
     A couple in their early sixties came in for assistance, John and Sarah. They had just moved back to the area from the west coast and needed to get established.  While I was setting them up, they told me that they would only be here for a few months, as John was receiving radiation for esophageal cancer at a hospital in downtown Boston.  They were clearly in love with each other, but there were little signs that they hadn't been married for a long time.  When we got near the end, I asked Sarah how long they had been together. Four years, was her reply. I said, if you don't mind me asking, how did you meet.  She told me it was a great story, and I begged her to continue.
     Sarah told me that they'd known each other since they were 14. John was the best friend to a boy that she married when she graduated from high school.  They lost touch and life continued.  John married, had children and unfortunately, his wife died many years later. John didn't know that her marriage had gone sour a long time ago.  That boy Sarah married had become an abusive husband. They had no children.  He was diagnosed with cancer, and Sarah stayed, even through the abuse, to care for him until he died.  Shortly thereafter, Sarah began to wonder what had happened to John. While on Facebook, she mentioned that she was interested in speaking to him again. One of her friends knew John's grandson and gave him  the message.  John reached out to Sarah. One conversation led to another and another until they agreed to meet, and it was love at second sight.  Within an appropriate amount of time, they decided to marry and agreed to move out west for the nicer weather.  Unfortunately, he was recently diagnosed with cancer which led to them returning here for treatment.
     While she told me the story, I could tell that although they were worried about the diagnosis, she was determined.  She kept talking about the future and what they'd be doing next year and thereafter, as though she knew they already had this beat, because they had each other.  They'd found each other again after 40 years.  It wasn't so much that there was lost ground to make up for, but moments yet to be explored and she was determined to experience each one with him.   

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