We were asked this week to talk about the most romantic thing we had ever seen between tow people in public. I have a story. What I saw in one moment has not left me unmoved for over 30 years.
Through church, I knew a couple whom I will call “Rick” and “Hope”. I met them when they rather suddenly became quite active in the parish fundraisers and activities. They seemed to be everywhere but they were a fairly quiet couple. They never tried to take over, they just did what was needed in a quiet manner. The couple seemed reasonably monetarily comfortable , personally reserved and friendly in a quiet manner.
Although I am ashamed to admit it, I have to say that I wondered about them. I assumed both Rick and Hope were somewhere in their late 30’s, but Hope seemed older. Rick was very handsome in a European-Latin manner and Hope… to be honest, Hope was truly lovely person but she was rather plain. She was well-groomed, dressed conservatively and truly comported herself as a lady should , but she was not a physically beautiful woman. I just never understood at the time really how those two got together…and stayed together.
After seventeen years of marriage and one eleven year old son, Hope had decided to enter the Church, which was the reason for their sudden increase in community service. Although she was from a different denomination, she had always supported Rick in his faith. In fact, their only son, eleven year-old “Robert”, had always attended the local parish school. We knew that Hope entering the Church was what Rick had always hoped for, but he had never pressured Hope in any way. They had mutual respect for each other.
Because they were who they were, Rick and Hope opted for a quiet ceremony to bring her into the Church. In such a circumstance, the parish pastor is given faculties from the bishop to do the sacrament. There were a few of we ‘regulars’ in attendance, as it was done during a weekday mass, and I am so glad that I was there that day .
The principal excused Robert from class for the ceremony and he joined his father in witnessing his mother’s Confirmation. Hope was unused to being the center of attention and was nervous; she looked only at the priest and not at the rest of us, not even to her husband, which is a shame, because although all of us were looking at her, giving support, I took a moment to look over to over at Rick.
What I saw will be with me forever.
He was beaming at Hope. On his face was a look of pure love.
At that moment I ceased to wonder about what I had considered an ‘inequality’ between them. I saw a man who truly loved his wife, who saw and loved her as a person, mind and soul. And because she never saw the look, because he knew she was not looking at him, I knew it was genuine. He never knew that I .(and I found out later, a friend of mine),had seen the look and he never cared. He had not given it as a show; he only had eyes and a look of love for Hope.
I hope that “Hope” saw that look at other times; I know she must have felt his feelings for her during their marriage. I could then see those felling showing in their quiet way together.
And since then, if I had one wish, (after peace on Earth and end to hunger), I would wish for every man to take such pride in and feel as much love for someone as Rick had for Hope and that every woman would have someone who would feel for her and have someone look at her as Rick looked at Hope that day.
I wish you love!