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Thou Wouldst Still be Adored!


Mario V. Farina

Copyright 2018 Mario V. Farina

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Mario V. Farina



"Yes dear!" We were lying side by side. I was on the verge of falling asleep.

"I saw Dr. Benson today," Marge said almost inaudibly.

"Didn't you have an appointment with him last week, dear?" I mumbled sleepily.

"Yes, this was my second visit. He called today and said I needed to see him as soon as I could." My heart seemed to stop beating. I could not frame the thoughts in my mind into words. With a horror never before experienced, I waited for her next words.

"I need a major operation!" she said quietly.

I propped myself up and took her into my arms, "Oh, Honey," I blurted, "What's wrong?"

"There was a biopsy," she said. "I need a mastectomy. My left breast. I didn't know how to tell you."

It was as if a cloud had been torn open and had maliciously poured gallons of ice water on my body. Though stunned, I was able to utter, "Darling, it won't make any difference. I love you and that will not change!"

Marge and I had been married almost four years. We were very much in love. Children had not arrived, but we were trying. We were both in our middle twenties. Nothing like this should ever happen to people at our ages!

"Dear one," she said. "This is unfair to you! I won't let you go through it with me. You can file for a divorce. I won't contest it!"

"Marge," I exclaimed. "What are you saying? It's not your breast I married. It was you. Wipe that thought out of your mind!"

"Fred, dear," she continued. "You often said, my breasts were the most beautiful part of my body! Now, I'll be ugly. You'll hate even looking at me. I won't allow it. I've thought about this a lot since Dr. Benson told me. This is what, to me, makes the most sense!"

"I won't have it!" I cried out forcefully. "There is much more to you than a body! You are a beautiful woman with a marvelous mind, a unique human being with admirable attributes. You are kind, loving, honest, intelligent, loyal. I grew to love you, the whole you, not just your body. What has happened will not change my feelings for you; it will only make them stronger!"

She was silent for a long while. I continued to hold her tightly in my arms. "Let's go to sleep now," she finally said. "Let's talk more about this in the morning. I'm sorry I brought this up now! I don't think either of us will get much sleep tonight."

She was right about sleep. I could feel Marge stirring uncomfortably for hours. As for me, my brain, semi-conscious, I began rummaging through just about every experience I had ever had in my life. I finally fell asleep and dreamed a strange dream. I woke up audibly saying, "I'll do that! I'll do that!" Marge was not in bed. However, I could smell pancakes grilling in the kitchen.

A few moments later, I had joined her, she on one side of the kitchen table and I on the other. We were both in matching blue bathrobe's.

"How did you sleep, dear," I asked. She stared at me blankly, "I didn't sleep," she said sadly. "And you?"

"I fidgeted most of the night," I replied. "I hope I didn't keep you awake."

"No, you didn't, dear. I would have stayed awake anyway," she responded lethargically. "I haven't changed my mind about what I said last night. Dr. Benson said there was no guarantee that my other breast wouldn't be affected sometime in the future. You need to be free of me. I won't allow you to gape at me when I am so disfigured!"

"Darling," I said. "I had a weird dream last night. At least, I think it was a dream. It was so real, I felt it was really happening. When I, at last, fell asleep, a dark-haired woman, came to me and spoke. She said her name was Elizabeth Dyke. She said she had been the wife of Thomas Moore, an Irish poet. What she was saying, meant nothing to me. But she asked me to do something, and I said I would. She said it might be something that would help us get through this horrible ordeal that has suddenly been inflicted upon us. Will you do what she suggested with me after breakfast?"

She didn't respond. She simply nodded her head, yes. We ate in silence. If it had been the day before, we would've been chatting animatedly during the entire time.

After breakfast, Marge and I sat at the computer, and looked up the name Elizabeth Dyke had mentioned, Thomas Moore. This name had been familiar to Marge and me, but we didn't know a great deal about him. We found that he lived from 1779 to 1852 and had achieved much fame as an Irish poet, song writer, singer, and entertainer. Around 1807, he met Elizabeth, a lovely actress, on one of his entertainment tours, and was smitten by her beauty and personality. It was expected they would marry one day. However, these plans were smashed when she suffered a bout with smallpox and was disfigured. Though Thomas Moore still desired to marry her, she refused claiming that she was no longer beautiful and he should never again set eyes on her again. In desperation, Thomas wrote a poem entitled, Believe Me If All Those Endearing Young Charms, desiring to recite it to her and thus win her hand in marriage. Soon afterwards, he set it to music using a traditional Irish air. He finally had an opportunity to sing this song to the woman he loved. In doing this, he reassured her that his love for her had not changed despite the fact that her face had changed in appearance. In 1811, they were married and lived happily together until his death in 1852. Elizabeth had suggested that I read, on the computer, this story about her marriage to Thomas with Marge.

I found this song beautifully performed on Youtube by several great artists. I copied the lyrics, which are shown below.

Believe Me, If All Those Endearing Young Charms

Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change by tomorrow, and fleet in my arms
Like fairy-gifts, fading away!
Thou wouldst still be adored as this moment thou art
Let thy loveliness fade as it will;
And, around the dear ruin, each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still!

It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
Or thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known
To which time can but make thee more dear!
No! the heart that has truly loved, never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close;
As the sun-flower turns to her god, when he sets
The same look which she turned when he rose!

I read the poem to Marge. She made no statement indicating what effect this had had. We continue to read, and she became as deeply engrossed in what we were learning, as I was. There came a time when we saw that the tune Thomas Moore had used for his song had also been used by Harvard University in their alma mater, entitled Fair Harvard in 1811 for the class of that year.

"We went to Harvard last year to visit my brother, Robert, who is studying there," Marge commented. "Could it be that you learned a great deal about the story we have just read while we were there?" she asked. "Could it be that your recollection brought Elizabeth Dyke to your dream?"

"Darling, it is possible," I said, "but it's also possible that fate proclaimed from the beginning of time what all events were destined to be? If what I am saying, everything that has happened was preordained. I believe we were always destined to be together, and what is happening today, what is happening now, is to assure that what I am saying is true."

"Dearest," I continued, "No matter what happens, thou will be adored by me, as at this moment thou art!"

"Hold me!" she suddenly stated. "Love me! Love me forever no matter what happens!"

"I will," I promised.

We are now in our eighties. Marge had her operation. No other was needed. We have been happily married and have several beautiful grandchildren, even a great granddaughter.

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