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July 15, 2024

Dear Lover-To-Be

By Catherine Arra

Dear Lover-To-Be,

Your text this morning:
       "I def. have Covid."

But I knew. You, defiant warrior, would deliver yourself to this crusade. Kept bar-lounging, ski-lodging, trekking into cities, open-faced, blue bandana mask a ruse. Kept on until biology bedded you.

And me, all mother-woman instinct, 1,800 miles away, want to cook for you, massage your aches with lavender and frankincense, kiss the fever into my lips and blow it into ocean breezes.

And then, I know you wanted this fight ... maybe ... until you were in it.
       "101 temp, body aches, the whole 9 yards."

Sometimes, Lover-to-be, we derail ourselves. When we don't like the path we're on and can't find a way off. When we need to rest and don't know how. When we challenge nature, middle-finger the universe because we don't much like ourselves.

Is that what you did?

Did you want something bigger than you, your ambition, your shattered heart, to burn away the shell of hard muscle and Rambo resolve?
To bring yourself to your knees before the tenderness you long for?

Last April at first pandemic peak, I defied logic and sense, flew back to New York from Florida. In hazmat suit, armed with sanitizing gear, I boarded the plane and sat mannequin still for three hours.

My best friend (with underlying conditions) picked me up at the airport. When I began to climb into the backseat of her baby blue VW bug, she said,
       "No. Here, in front. Here's a blanket. You're going to be cold."

I made a vow to her then and there, like a marriage vow. Said,
       "If you get sick, I'll stay by your side, take care of you. I'll never leave you."

It wasn't only a promise of loyalty, but a vow of vulnerability, a soul-sacrificing willingness to surrender again -- this warrior goddess after her own crusade into heartbreak and loss.

Lover-to-be, I kneel before tenderness, love, strength, with sword, cross, snake in hand and make the same vow to you.

Article © Catherine Arra. All rights reserved.
Published on 2021-11-15
Image(s) are public domain.
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