noun, plural o·pus·es
a musical composition.
one of the compositions of a composer, usually numbered according to the order of publication.
a literary work or composition, as a book: Have you read herlatest opus? Abbreviation: op.
It was a bright and unseasonably warm Saturday in May, 1998 when the boy and the girl married. They married in the girl's church, the place where she had grown up and been baptized and confirmed. Family and friends from all corners of the globe joined them in celebration.
When they returned to their new home together, the began the next chapter in building a life together. They focused on their careers and saving to buy their first home. When the weekends came, they found themselves biking and rollerblading and camping. They visited with friends. They took vacations and had adventures. Life was wonderful.
Four years later, life changed again when their first child, a daughter, was born. She was a beautiful baby, small and round and pink with a full head of jet black hair and blue eyes and beautiful rosebud lips. She was an intense baby who took in every detail of the world around her. She was a baby who quickly grew bored at home and was happiest when she was taken out to explore her vast new world. Smiles and laughs came easily and she glided through developmental milestones effortlessly.
Of course her parents swelled with pride each time family and stranger alike commented on this sweet, beautiful, bright, wise baby. Yes, this child, this being of their creation, did hang the moon.
Two years later, another baby joined the family. This one, a son. This baby was very different from the first. Unlike his sister who came into the world round and pink and noisy, this boy came into the world thin and gray and quiet. This boy was whisked from his mother's arms by nurses in scrubs and surgical masks to Intensive Care. This boy lay among a maze of tubes and wires taking uneven, shallow breaths. Unlike his sister, this boy's face did not register curiosity about his environment and smiles and laughter did not flow easily. Weak and fragile, this boy was like a sick baby bird.
No one said much about this boy. The boy's parents could read the faces of their family and friends. They could read the words written in their eyes; words their lips would not speak. In those earliest days, there was concern for the boy's survival and this knowledge plunged the parents into depths of unspeakable despair.
Without warning and without permission, life rudely and abruptly changed.
The boy and girl were a lifetime way from the summer of 1990. Gone were the lazy days spent on sandy beaches and quiet times spent in the cool New Hampshire mountains. Days spent biking and nights spent dancing were now bygone era. And even that joyful newness of being young parents, blissful naivete, seemed untouchably long ago. Life, thick as fog, pressed down hard on the young family. The view obscured, they did not know where to go.
Fear became an evil that tested their marriage. Fear brought sadness. Sadness brought worry. At times, life seemed illogical and even cruel.
Years passed (twenty two to be exact.) since the summer of 1990 and hairlines had thinned and waistlines thickened. Wrinkles began to carve their way into the landscape of their faces and gray hairs began to sprout. There had been times that both the boy and the girl had questioned how much they could carry and how much further they could continue on.
The boy and the girl still speak of that magical summer of 1990. Both knew it was a time, impossible to reclaim and lived only once, but still a time they claimed as their own. Life had thrown curve balls, but there was still the hope and joy and possibility on their horizon.
As for the boy and the girl, their story continues. It reads as a drama and as a medical mystery and at times as a romance and as a comedy. The pen remains in their hand.
This is their story.
This is their opus.
"Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be"