“Do you think we’ll be together in heaven?”
Not a question I was expecting from D.W., my partner of fourteen years. We were in the car, enjoying some music, not talking too much, when he leaned over, gently put his hand on my knee and asked me if our love was indeed eternal.
When we met, fourteen years ago – it seems simultaneously like a lifetime ago and just yesterday – I was such a different person. I was a boy… just barely twenty-five and still trying to figure out what kind of person I wanted to be. Working in a job and career I didn’t love, but making more money than I knew what to do with at such a young age, I was treading water, marking time, waiting… for what, I didn’t know.
From the moment we met, I knew this man was different. I couldn’t put my finger on it at first, but as we became, first, friends and began spending more time together it became evident. D.W. is that rare person who could force me to look hard at myself and ask some difficult questions.
At twenty-five I was self-involved and had been sucked in by the “success vortex” our society tries so hard to sell. On the rare occasion I thought of others, it was mostly because in some way it might benefit me. I was propelled by the constant hope of achieving better, bigger, and more bountiful “stuff” at every turn. I needed someone to snap me back to reality and just when I needed him most, there he was.
Now I work in a profession I’m truly passionate about (and make no money) and spend my life with my soulmate. D.W.’s generous, warm, charitable, and quiet soul has made me, quite simply, a better person. I can’t imagine who I would have become had our paths not crossed, but I couldn’t be happier with the result.
When he asked about our eventual reunion in heaven, without missing a beat, I replied, “Of course.”