Long before I knew him, our paths began to intersect.  Some call it “fate”.  Some call it “co-incidence.”  We called it “Divine Love.” In Montreal, he and his family lived about three blocks away from my family.  In North Vancouver, he lived a few miles away from me.   On the Sunshine Coast, his family had a summer cottage in the community I worked.  We never met in any of those places.And then we met, by happenstance at a Christmas Fair.  It wasn’t “love.”  It was simply a meeting of two people who shared common interests and who began to grow in friendship.  And then ‘love’ entered the scene.  Not between the two of us … just yet. But through a rescue dog, his little King Charles Spaniel named Shandy.   As the years passed, the friendship Hans and I shared, grew.  Love entered the spaces that had been empty for far-too-long for us both.

When he first asked me to marry him, I said “No, not yet.”  Then he asked again and again and again.  And each time, my response was “No, not yet.”  One day, he phoned and asked me to go for an afternoon drive with him
… we often did that. He came by with Shandy, picked me up and off we went.  And on a bench overlooking the ocean at Qualicum Beach, again, he asked me to marry him.  And this time I knew. I knew that  the obstacles we had talked about were nothing, as long as we faced them together.  I realized that his love for me was so deep, as was mine for him, that spending the rest of our lives together, no matter how long,
how short, was part of “Divine Love.”

Six weeks later he had sold his little house; I had sold my little house; a new little house was purchased and we were married and moved into our “forever, together home.”  Our wedding day was a day marked by ‘clouds’ … rain clouds and other clouds, but we knew that we would face any and all clouds … together.  We were the love of each other’s lives and we were grateful.  Over the years, laughter filled our home, deep conversations filled our home, joy and peace and hope filled our home, Divine Love filled our home.

When my beloved took his leave of this Planet Earth, he  never, never ever, takes his leave of my heart.  Like other calligraphers, he joins others in that Great-Scriptorium-in-the-Sky, and is singing in that lovely voice of his the six words of his reality:  “It is well with my soul.”

Through a cloud of sadness, love shines and always will. Through a cloud of sadness, love shines and always will.  And when the time times for me to join him, our cremains will be placed together in a unique box crafted by our wood artist friend.  Death may bring the end of life, but it does not end a relationship, for the love we were so blessed to share will never end.

Rest in peace my beloved Dutch-born, Canadian husband, Hans van der Werff.   Rest in peace.


© June Maffin