He was 21, she was 15. They had just become man and wife. He was away working in a city. She was with his family in village faraway going about her wifely duties. And those were the times when distance actually made the heart grow fonder. When poetries were written for the woman you loved. He wrote her a poem. It talked of gratitude, pride, longing and the love that he felt for her. It talked of how she was everything he had hoped she would be. It talked of how she was the perfect daughter-in-law to his parents and will be the perfect mother to their then unborn kids.
They were together for 66 years and had 9 kids.
She is 88 now and he is gone. But the memory of the poem written 73 years ago brings a smile to her now frail face. First she refused to recite it to us, said she was shy. And then when she did, she remembered every single word, and I could tell she read it just the way he had then. She paused in between the lines; I wondered what she might be thinking. Whatever it was, it was lovely, I am sure.
Have I ever had someone write poetry for me? No I did not. Neither did my friends or their friends. Because somehow a holiday in Prague or a boot from Prada made more sense.
Would I want to tradeoff my 3 promised gifts for 200 words of tenderness? I guess not.