Orthodox Byzantine Chants
Holy Mount Athos
A student was sitting in the coffee shop from the campus and was studying when he saw two old people approaching and taking seats at a close table. One of them started to speak about his wife. When he finished, he asked the other to tell him about his wife. Read the answer as related by the student:
“I was 21 years old when I met her. Immediately after I saw her entering the hall, I understood. I didn’t need to ask who she was. This is my wife, I said to myself. All the others are mere details.
This woman was so special. I was at work for 12 hours every day and when I returned home, I always found food waiting for me on the table. When the children went to sleep, we were so tired that we went straight to bed and we were holding each other tightly till we fell asleep. These were the very few moments of the day when I felt her close, even for such a short time. These few moments gave me the power to continue my work in order to provide a better future for my children. I used to tell her that as long as she was there, to hold her in my arms, I would always be happy. She was the queen of my life. She helped me become the man I am today, polite with everybody and a good father. You can ask my children about this. Some people know how to make it. Know how to make you be a real man.
But one day she got sick. At first I didn’t worry. Besides, we all get sick at a certain moment. But the doctors seemed sure that it wasn’t something easy. They seemed to worry and as it was proven later, they were right.
When they told us the bad news, my wife asked me if I wanted to marry with another woman after she died. She was feeling anxious… She didn’t want me to remain alone and grieve. But I had no intention of being with another woman. I found that unacceptable. When I told her, she looked at me and said: I know you well. You are the kind of man who needs a woman beside him. You could never enjoy life being alone. But I denied that again and again…
A year after she had got sick, everything changed in our house. I didn’t find anymore food on the table when I came back from work. My wife spent all her day in bed and she waited for me to come in the evening and carry her to the table. She was sitting on a chair and she looked at me with her big, green eyes while I was cooking something for our dinner. She was giving me instructions and rebuked me if I was doing something wrong, if I added more salt than it was necessary. These were the happiest moments of my life! We were glad we could see each other.
In the days when she felt bad, she couldn’t eat alone and I was feeding her. She didn’t want this…she cried and asked me to forgive her. I rebuked her, cause she knew that no matter what happened I was beside her. She was my woman and I was her man…Till the end…
Little by little things got worse. She reached that stage when she was unable to do anything alone and she had to take her medication at every four hours. I quitted my job so that I could be with her all the time and help her. I fed her, put her in bed and lied down beside her, holding her in my arms…like before. Those were the most beautiful moments of my life…
It took her two years to be overpowered by her sickness. But in the end the sickness overpowered her. I saw it approaching. And she saw it too. We both knew she would never recover. It was like one day I was holding her in my arms and the next day she was gone. At the beginning I felt completely devastated because of this, but then I figured out it was better this way. It was no need to take anymore of that terrible medication or to eat my disgusting dishes.
Now she is better. Only I don’t know what to do without her. I don’t know what to do with her things, with her clothes. I can’t throw them away. I don’t want to do this. All her clothes are still in the wardrobe and her pictures are everywhere. Her side of bed is right as she left it. I want to believe that she’s still here. My daughters tell me to sell the house and move to another, but I spent all my life in this house with her. It’s still our home, at least as long as I live in it.”
For a couple of minutes it was silence. The student had never heard anyone talking about someone else with such respect. It was obvious he truly loved his wife and this was not going to change so easily. The other old man broke the silence: “I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for you to take care of her all day.” “To give everything for her.” Then the old widow smiled and said: “It wasn’t hard at all.” “It was a privilege for me to be able to take care of her.” “She was the woman of my life and I would have done it for ever, if it had been necessary.” “She was and will always be my queen.” “I only miss so much her embrace…”