Shadows of La Pieta

As long as I’ve been a guest and my in-laws house I’ve had the same view when I woke up in the morning. My husband by my side, I’d look up and there would be the Pieta and their 25th anniversary photo, both made smile.

Angelo took me to Rome just a year after we were married. The Vatican, where he received his First Holy Communion, was beyond anything I had imagined.

I remember coming back and describing it to people as being as long as the city block we lived on. I was overcome as an artist at the dedication and spirit of excellence every artist that worked on every aspect of the structure embodied. I remember approaching the Pieta reverently, and weeping uncontrollably, my husband by my side, my deliverer in more ways than either of us could have imagined. The emotion of a mother holding her son, her first born, given up for the world, knowing it was a God‘s perfect plan, and even still grieving his death, was more than I could completely comprehend. And I wept as if I were experiencing the reality and not stone in front of me.

We followed the tour and listened as a priest described the communion canopy, and again I was moved to tears. To understand true intimacy, the only intimacy that humans can comprehend, a husband and a wife passionately in love, knowing each other more than any two individuals could possibly know each other is the only tangible relationship we as humans can come close to the understanding of the deep, intimate love God longs to share with us.

Angelo understood this. He understood the mystery of our intimacy was a reflection, mind, body and soul of God’s great loving relationship with us. He understood the sacredness of the gift of intimacy within marriage. And I am overwhelmed to have been the recipient of such divine love.

We wandered about the Vatican, climbed the steps to the top and looked out over Rome. Angelo bought me a momento, a Madonna and Child as we looked forward to the birth of our daughter. The view of Rome and the Papal gardens are still filed under “magical memories” I have in my mind, gifts from my love.

And here I am without you. Before me 25 years and la Pieta.

We just celebrated 25 years. That’s the total that God gave us here on earth.

Everything, for the rest of my life will fall under the shadow of 25 years with you, Angelo mio. I weep, overwhelmed by my grief despite the reality of God’s perfect plan of intimacy, while light illuminates and distinguishes the shadows.

“Husbands love your wives just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to live their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife, loves himself.” Ephesians 5:25-28