love · The Good Life

Only Love Is Real

“Only Love is real!” he said, shoveling in another mouthful of apple pie.

It was holiday dinner at my solid cherry dining room table. Toddlers wereboosted high in their seats, staring wide-eyed and juice-stained at the man called Grandpa who’d been going on for twenty minutes about past lives and reincarnation. Adults spooned vanilla ice cream onto slabs of pie, sipped long and hard at coffee.

Ever the responsive hostess, I refilled coffee cups, located dessert forks, and wiped sticky chins. The atmosphere shifted from uneasy silence to rapt attention. He described a week-long past life regression training with the preeminent authority in the field, a week that included synchronous meetings and life-changing experiences.

I’d made the apple pie in tribute to my mother, an exceptional, self-taught pie maker. She died earlier than I mastered her hard-earned wisdom, deft touch with pastry, and secret mix of spices, so my pie was only a rough approximation of her beloved, soul-satisfying wonders.

My parents met at a party. He was dragged there by his-then girlfriend who wanted him to meet her friends. Seizing the chance to show off a beautiful, ambitious, earnest good friend, she introduced him to my mother. They talked and soon after the party, he broke up with the girlfriend. With her friend’s (ex-girlfriend’s) blessing, my mother agreed to go out on a date and within weeks, he and my mother were steady sweethearts.

Nearly fifty years later, we ate pie in memory, family gathered around the table listening to stories about soul mates and synchronicity from a man who had lived, learned, and looked forward to more.

Today, on their 64th anniversary, I raise a cup of hot coffee, consider making an apple pie, and remember him and her. He was right — is right. Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad. Only Love is real.

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