We must admit, in spite of the cynicism of our age, human hearts are continually captivated by stories of love and devotion; they are susceptible and tender when it comes to real loving relationships. We cheer for love to succeed; we are disappointed and sad when it does not. We find that, in a world that can sometimes be dark and broken, through a story of sacrificial love we may rise above, believe more, become better. Love stories are good for us!
I have my own love story. It involves a man I have loved and been married to for 48 years. You know him, too; he is the saint of St. James – my husband. The following is just the tearoom part of our love story. There’s lots more (there always is in any long love).
His sacrificial love for me has been expressed in many ways over these years, but you might be surprised to know the whole, behind-the-scenes story of the tearoom, and the love of its saint for his lady. We had tea every afternoon when he got home from work— until I started the tearoom, that is. Then, after cycling back and forth from work (11 miles each way) and working all day, he would come to the tearoom to help with the last of the dishes, mop floors, water the garden, and help me with the books.
For ten years our living room was filled with 7’ high shelving units, which worked out fine because all our furniture was at the tearoom! We ate on an ironing board for years! He never complained that we had scrambled eggs three nights a week, and didn’t seem to get tired of Costco enchiladas. He never said a word about how hard I was working without a penny of remuneration. What he saw was me, his lady, finding joy in her passion, and joyfully entering in. I won’t even tell you about the financial sacrifices he made for me. You would might be surprised that a man would do that for the woman he loved. All his help, all his patience, all his sacrifice—for one reason alone: his love for me.
And, interestingly, because the tearoom has been my joy, it has also become his. Even now, he still calls it the “little tearoom.”
His love dignifies me; it ennobles me, inspires me. Love stories, the world over, have that capacity; they compel us, motivate us, humanize us. We are better for these stories. They are worth enjoying, examining, and showcasing. They lift us up. In a world that can sometimes be broken and full of distress, a story of real love may help us rise above, believe more, become better. Love stories are good for us. May we all find our way into one of them!
Yours for grace, civility, beauty, gentility, excellence… and Love Stories,