Watching two people in love make a commitment to each other, I got the answer wrong again, as I had for months.
He had asked me over and over, "Will you be with me for the rest of my life?" We were getting married, no question. I had the ring, the dress, the happy glow.
Ever the old maverick, the crusty old bachelor-girl, I had loved him in my heart and said: "I don't even know what that means, "For the rest of life." Here's what I DO know: You are like the treasure in a field that the man sold all he had to possess. I sell everything, all I know to be with you, because YOU are the treasure."
It was a good answer, a response born out of the sweet pang that love and longing bring. I meant it with every fiber of my being. He is my treasure. THE treasure of my life.
But it was still not the right one.
As we watched the people in love struggle and stammer their way through saying their love, he leaned over and whispered to me: "I think you WILL be with me for my whole life."
Not even then did I realize. It was two hours later; then I knew. No ring-wearing, plan-making, field-buying will answer the question. Only one thing will.
Yes, I will be with you our whole lives. All of it.
And count myself lucky and blessed just to be by your side.
I am sorry that my mind is so slow to process what my heart already knows. The answer to your essential question?