A Bittersweet Love Story

Stories pass down from elders to little ones with each passing generation. We are born to hear and then to pass onto the next generation that which we hear as we add twists and our own thoughts. The stories that we rewire in our minds as we tell them in a new light based on our personal life experiences constantly develop. The twist and the appeal to the ones hearing is strictly influenced by the storytellers’ own life stories and that of the listeners. Still, it is a phenomenal opportunity to tell a story from firsthand source that developed in one’s own lifetime and to have lived through from almost the beginning to the end. I suppose that the following saying “the beginning does not save one, but the end does,” comes from such experiences. When we assess each situation from initial point of view, it may either seem to be a bountiful outcome or simply justice prevailing, however, as the time passes and life throws its fits into the pot, something different stirs up shifting the results in the middle and/or at the end. Similarly, a story that began poorly filled with life’s grief can manifest itself and unfold to a beautiful love-story such as a story I want to share from my perspective, as I was a bystander and a watcher as this love-story unfolded since before I began school. 

A certain woman who is related to my paternal side of the family was left without a husband and children. She then adopted a boy and raised as her own. This boy carries my surname, although, he does not biologically belong to my family. He married a woman in the town I was born. By some kind of old tradition this couple became the guardians of my parents on my parents’ wedding and thereafter. Although guardian is a big word and more of a tradition, I hold fond memories of these people. The female guardian has a beautiful sister whose name is “Hope” when translated into English. As a little girl I cannot recall now from whom and how, but I was made aware of Hope’s youth love-story. Parents of the boy she was dating did not allow their union. Though sad, both of them moved on in life, married, had children, and remained faithful to their spouses.

Hope always appeared merry and jolly to me, and I was on her side in this story. I continued to remain on her side until the end. And although I was not furious of the boy’s inability to stand up for his love, I was curious as to how he lived with himself. Sometimes I thought that perhaps he truly didn’t love Hope. Regardless, I was happy to see that Hope was happy. Hope loved my sister and her curly locks as they resembled Hope’s. Many times, I put myself in Hope’s shoes and wondered how I would react to life had I been in her situation. I couldn’t answer to myself and agreed within myself that it was Hope’s life and she made the best of it. 

Oddly, I had strange thoughts which I had discussed with my mom of the possibility that perhaps one day somehow they’d be together. I also thought even though it would be a sad love-story, thinking of the possibility that the couple may one day rekindle, I concluded that it could only be in the most pure form possible. Otherwise, I thought, they’d stoop to the same level as the people who broke them up.

I turned ten, Hope was still merry as always. I turned 13, my family moved away across the ocean, and I completely forgot about this story, though I have to admit, it did effect me and left my heart just a little bit broken. 

I turned 30, and one day my mom told me a story of a “new couple” and how happily ever after they traveled the world and that now they are also traveling to Israel. This “new couple” are Hope and that boy. My heart warmed up, and I was rejoiced having to live to see this story unfold to a beautiful reality and that they both received a judgement from heaven for their prudence, patience and loyalty. Now I can see that the boy truly loved Hope and that throughout life’s struggles he lived his destiny and did not sin before G-d and the people. He remained loyal to his wife and was by her through a cancer until she passed away. And even after his wife had passed, he remained pure and did not marry anyone nor try to destroy Hope’s family. Years later, Hope’s husband passed. And the boy finally had an opportunity to be a man of my heart. He stood up and offered a marriage to Hope, and she agreed in humility and forgiveness. Now they are traveling the world hand-in-hand, and I as a writer write about their tragic youth story that unfolded to a bittersweet yet a beautiful love-story. 

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