April 2018

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Quint of Luuuv

Ann's colleague Adina celerates  "the quint of love."  She pronounces it "luv" with an extended soft "u": "luuuuv." Since the this time period includes Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday, President's Day (depending on the president), and Valentine's Day, the designation seems just right.

Unsure asbout what a quint might be? Is it A) an era: we had the quint of Bush and now we are in the quint of luuuv B) a metaphor from science fiction literature where time is a substance to be measured in "quints": It was a time of love, a quint of romance. C) (we all know C's the most common answer, so it won't be this): Is it a fifth of a school year, so that we have semesters, trimesters, quarters and quints D) Perhaps it's an age, as in the Quint of Acquarius or E) a very naughty word in Jamaican culture. The correct answers are C, a grading period which is a fifth of a school year, and E)  very naughty word in Jamaican culture. (Adina told me about the Jamaican meaning, and I confirmed it on the innernets.. I wonder if that's why their school, which has lots of students from Asian countries, has no students from Jamaica.) As a good reader, you can use your context clues to be assured that in this instance we are discussing a grading period.

In last Sunday's church service, the reading came from the sexy Song of Songs: "Strengthen me with raisins, refresh me with apples, for I am faint with love" (New International Version (©1984) cited on For sure, it must be the quint of love: The Bible tells me so, and so does Adina.

On the radio last week, I heard a remarkable love story, a husband's retelling of the joyous moments of his wife's last days. She was home from cancer treatments, weak, in a wheelchair, and unable to speak. The day before she died, he noticed again how beautiful she was, and he asked her to marry him again. Though weak, she kissed him vigorously and repeatedly on his cheek.

Last summer Ann and I got married in a commitment ceremony at our church. I had survived brain surgery for a tumor and could no longer walk or dance as I used to. I could no longer smile with both sides of my face. My eyes were somewhat crossed. I can no longer hike up mountains or travel in developing countries. Still, she said she loved me. Still, she spends her days with me. Still, she asked me to marry her.

We had a great time. We practiced dancing to Exile's "She's a Miracle" for weeks so that we could dance, and I would not fall. Our families and friends celebrated with us. We shared photos of our lives together: from hiking up Lalibellas's mountainsides to watching waves crash on North Carolina's shores: if you look closely you can see not only that I am affectionately holding Ann's arm, but that she is holding me up. We said our vows and our siblings made toasts.

On this Valentine's Day, as on all days, I am so thankful for all of the love in my life: for friends and family, an astonishing world, our communities of faith and fun and work, and especially for Ann. My heart is full, as is my life.

All my love. Mary

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