Wednesday, November 15, 2017 was the forty-ninth anniversary of Pat and my first date and the first anniversary of that dreadful diagnosis. It was the best of times and the worst of times.
On Friday, November 15, 1968, Pat was a fellow student’s date at the Red Lion on our FLIS weekly pub crawl. I was attracted to her and sat beside her. When her date left her alone to talk to some of his buddies, I was alone there beside her and since it was by now late afternoon, I asked her to supper. She said yes. She went home to Rochdale to change and I picked her up there. We went to Hungarian Village on Bay Street. After Hungarian Village, we went to hear Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry at the Riverboat in Yorkville where we had pastries and coffees. The date was not over yet, though it was past midnight. We went to Plaka, a Greek nightclub on Queen Street where we listened to Basuki players from Athens and threw dishes. Got her back to Rochdale early Saturday morning and, after getting to know each other (talked until dawn – I promised never to lie to this woman and no lines), I proposed to her. She said “no.” Didn’t get much sleep before having to head off to my Saturday job at the undergraduate library at U of T. After work, I dropped by her place to ask her to Church on Sunday morning. Pat accepted, and came to the Church of the Redeemer with me on Sunday; this confirmed that Pat was the girl for me. I used to pray nightly that the first girl that attended Church with me would be the girl I married. It took two more askings but on February 9th (4 days after my birthday), she said she loved me and would marry me. On Valentine’s Day, we went together to buy her engagement ring. Her finger was so slim the jeweller had to cut down a size 4. We were married at St. Stephen’s-in-the-Fields on June 21, 1969.
It has occurred to me that while our first date on November 15, 1968 showed our interest in each other it was not as important as our going to Church together two days later November 17, 1968. The Friday was Eros, the Sunday was Agape. Cupid shot us with his arrow of erotic love on the Friday while on the Sunday our souls touched. Love at first sight is passionate but selfless love needs time and trust. Pat needed time and wrote just after Christmas “On top of this I feel an elusive fondness for you that can’t be classified; its too strong for Friendship and not strong enough for love.” I believe she was waiting for Agape before saying “I love you” on February 9, 1969. A marriage based solely on passionate romantic love can end in disaster; glad we waited for Agape. God and Agape made us soulmates forever.
I am NOT alone! My beloved Patricia is forever within me. I will experience her Presence through the tears, ever more deeply each day. Pat dwells within me and I dwell within her. We are present in each other and both experience the Presence. That place in my heart is my special place for remembering. I believe this is possible for all soulmates; it is part of soulmates being united in marriage by God to be one. You need merely to believe! Love makes all things possible. We shall love forever.
Patricia A. Bow July 20, 1946 – January 7, 2017
Pooka September 17, 1997 – January 8, 2017