True love

Published 10:29 am Wednesday, February 12, 2014

“Where do I begin, to tell the story of how great a love can be…”
Theme from “Love Story,” 1970

It was just something about the way she looked. Everything seemed to fit. She was wide where she was supposed to be and narrow in all the right places. She needn’t do anything special to be attractive. Just exist. That was all, just exist. He knew that once she was his, life would never be the same. He knew that if he could, he would spend his whole life with her. And he would do whatever it took to make her happy. When she needed him, he’d be there, no matter what. For he determined that nothing would separate the two of them. Oh, they might depart for brief periods of time, but he always came back to her. He knew that without her, life was not the same. For she was, well, part of him. It seemed that he felt what she did. When she was thirsty, he was thirsty. When she was cold, so was he. When she had trouble breathing, likewise.

It didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual thing that just sort of moved into his life until he found himself thinking of her more than himself. It didn’t require that much effort on his part. Before long, she was the most important thing on this earth to him and he found himself making sacrifices. When he was sick or hurting or tired or it was late at night, he was tending to her. Before long, appointments, meetings, even mealtimes became secondary to her care. Inevitably, those closest to him were jealous of her. They would complain about the time he spent with her and questioned his loyalty to them. But try as he might, he couldn’t resist the pull that always, like gravity, brought him back to her.

He loved to view her through the seasons. How she came alive in the spring. How she flourished in the summer. How she looked simply beautiful with the backdrop of clear colors in the fall. And how she looked so mystical in her winter coat.

She also had a way of giving back to him. Somehow, she seemed to know how much he sacrificed for her. Somehow she sensed his fondness for her. And she gave.

Inevitably, their relationship grew. He gave, and she gave back. And, like the seasons, life passed in this manner, until they were inseparable.

Eventually, his strength diminished. Try as he might, he couldn’t care for her like the old days. His body wouldn’t let him. He still cared for her as best he could, but the back didn’t work like it once did and the legs played out in short time. And, as it always is, his body played out and gave up its life.

He was buried.

But ironically, at death, the two did not separate.

In all those years, he was completely, faithfully, passionately married to his farm. In one sense, he was more a part of her now than ever.

REX ALPHIN of Walters is a farmer, businessman, author, county supervisor and contributing columnist for The Tidewater News. His email address is