The world seems to be taking Roger Ebert's death from cancer hard. I've been amazed by all the heartfelt articles and comments posted in his honor. The man and his work touched so many, but perhaps the most memorable words about him of all were in his wife Chaz Ebert's tribute to her husband and their life together.
"We had a lovely, lovely life together, more beautiful and epic than a movie," she said. "It had its highs and the lows, but was always experienced with good humor, grace and a deep abiding love for each other."
How beautiful ... and how inspiring. We should all be so lucky to feel that way about the person we share our lives with, right? That was my first reaction, and I felt myself flooded with love and appreciation for my own husband, despite the frustrating argument we had this very morning. If only I could keep that sentiment in the forefront of my mind every day of our lives together!
Reading Chaz's description of their marriage brought to mind something Roger wrote about his wife in an eloquent essay called "I Do Not Fear Death." He shared the story of how, when his artery ruptured and the doctors thought he had died, his wife knew his life wasn't over:
My wife, Chaz, said she sensed that I was still alive and was communicating to her that I wasn’t finished yet. She said our hearts were beating in unison, although my heartbeat couldn’t be discovered. She told the doctors I was alive, they did what doctors do, and here I am, alive. Do I believe her? Absolutely. I believe her literally — not symbolically, figuratively or spiritually. I believe she was actually aware of my call and that she sensed my heartbeat.
Incredible. That story and Chaz's words today remind me that it's crazy how easy it is to get caught up in all the stuff that brings us down or drives us apart -- the daily grind, the stresses, the same recycled arguments. When, really, we should never lose sight of that true love, or of our awareness of how lucky we are to have found each other, and how precious all these moments of our lives are. If we always could keep that in mind, how much happier our days would be together!
I want to be able to say the same thing at the end of my life about my marriage -- that despite all the little interruptions that got in the way, we always focused on our "deep abiding love for each other." We all should have the chance to say our love was more beautiful and epic than a movie -- and really mean it.
What are you most grateful about when it comes to the person you love?
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