To be in an intimate relationship is exciting and lovely. But to remain in a long term relationship takes more than love. It takes perseverance, patience and commitment. Like a marathon race, it can be challenging and painful at times but it can also be one of the most fulfilling and satisfying relationships in one’s lifetime. It’s human nature to take the people we love or the things they do (idiosyncrasies) for granted. Often, the little gestures we thought so cute in the beginning of the relationship can become irritating after so many years of living together.
This past summer, I read a book called “A Man called Ove.” Ove, the main character, is a ‘curmudgeon’. It’s a beautifully written love story about Ove’s relationship with Sonja, his life partner, and his grief after she dies. It will make you laugh and it will make you cry. There is a poignant description of what he misses most about his Sonja.
“Of all the imaginable things he most misses about her, the thing he really wishes he could do again is hold her hand in his. She had a way of folding her index finger into his palm, hiding it inside. And he always felt that nothing in the world was impossible when she did that. Of all the things he could miss, that’s what he misses most."
It’s a wonderful reminder not to take the people we love, (parents, siblings, friends included), for granted - to cherish all their idiosyncrasies and to pay attention and be present as much as you can. Because once they are gone, the regrets may haunt you....just ask Ove.
Check out A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman