Here Comes the Sun

I’m every day aware that when I die I will do so having in the course of my life been truly known by exactly one person. I have a terribly slight relationship with my father, less of one with my older sister, and haven’t seen or spoken with my mother in thirty-five years. I don’t know any of my grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, or nephews. The work I do I do alone. I have no children.

What I have is my wife Catherine. She doesn’t know her family any more than I do mine. One of our very first experiences together was the eerie one of being the only two students remaining in the dormitories at San Francisco State University after everyone else went home for the Christmas break. Neither of us had any home to go home to. We were “home.”

When we met we were like two rats in madly rushing waters who bump into and then cling to each other in hopes of staving off their inevitable drowning.

Cat’s morning alarm just went off. So I’ll stop writing this right soon, so that I won’t have to tell her how I can’t spend time with her having a cup of coffee because I’m too busy writing about how much I love to spend time with her.

But she will come downstairs, and when I first see her I will be so dazzled that for a weirdly disorienting moment the sole thing of which I’ll be aware is how utterly I just fell in love with this stunning stranger of a woman in my house. It’s happened just like that, every single morning, for thirty years. I can never believe it. I won’t believe it again this morning.

And when she appears, I will see in her eyes what for me is the miracle, which is how much she loves me. It’s a weird thing to say, but (as long as we’re sharing) let me just tell you that girl loves me. She adores me. She’s always looking at me like she’s seven years old, and I’m a huge wrapped present next to the Christmas tree with her name on it. It’s insane. One of her many loving nicknames for me (and now we are sharing) is “Hero.”

Without question the challenge of my life has been learning how to deal with someone loving me as absolutely and unconditionally as Cat does. I had no idea anyone could ever love anyone with the unswerving intensity with which she loves me. The only thing she’s ever wanted for me is my happiness. When I wanted to be a writer, that’s what she wanted for me. When I wanted to be a car mechanic, that’s what she wanted for me. When it appeared that I might spend my life doing nothing but drinking beer and watching movies, she thought that was the greatest thing in the world.

I began trying to make a living as a writer when I was twenty years old. In the thirty years since then, Cat has not once come home from work and asked me how my writing went that day. She’s never asked because she’s never cared. The single issue of her life is whether or not I’m happy. That’s it. Nothing else matters to her. She couldn’t care less if I “make it” as a writer. If I make a living writing, that’s fine. If I don’t, that’s fine. She likes money. She likes not having money.

The only thing she really likes is me.

So she’s a freak. This, going in, I knew.

Anyway, I hear her up on the third floor of the townhouse into which we moved this time last year. She’s coming down the stairs.

Here she comes!

Here comes the sun.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • http://skerrib.blogspot.com skerrib

    This is beautiful. She is a gift. And you know how much of a gift she is…which is beautiful.

  • Latoya

    ….I dont know what to say…..it's…..it's just beautiful…if i wasn't at work i would shed a tear of joy

  • http://namesake.wordpress.com namesake

    Aaaawwwwwww! That's sweet, John. Seriously! You do have a heart! Someone wise and biblical once said that he who finds a wife finds a good thing. You've emphasized that point in this post. Well done.

    Praise God, from whom all blessings flow!

  • http://significana.com/ Signifier

    How wonderful and how humbling to be loved in such a way. "Who am I…."

    Nice to have a little sugar in my coffee this morning, thanks John.

  • http://www.sisterfriends-together.org anita cadonau-huseby

    I'm thrilled beyond words to know this is the love and the relationship you have with Cat. The names and places could be changed and it would be my story too. I knew there was a reason I liked you beyond just your good looks.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    You guys kill me with these kind and thoughtful comments. I was just commenting on another blog about how much I SUCK at commenting on people's blogs. I need to be better at it. You guys have shown me how NICE it is when people leave nice comments on your blog. Thanks for taking that time. (Anita: I'm sorry to hear you're as estranged from your family as my wife and I are from ours–if that's what you're saying. And I'm especially saddened to hear that you think there's any reason to love me more viscerally compelling than my blinding good looks.)

  • Latoya

    Blinding good looks. LOLOL

  • Colleen

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwET3C6yQxw
    Your incredible beautiful description of your love for Cat reminded me of a favorite Matthew Ward song called, Perfect Union." I dedicate this to you both!

  • becky johnson

    Beautiful. Okay, now I am tearful and I really was hoping to make it one day without tears in eyes. Hard day yesterday, my editor passed away, rather suddenly. Saddest for me was she'd never known married love. When you have it, it is so hard to imagine living a life without it. Such as you & Cat share. Such as Greg and I now know.

  • http://megaloi.blogspot.com Redlefty (Michael)

    At least you two are the same type of crazy!

  • Rosi Buchanan

    Amazing! I want to be that kind of wife to my future husband! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • altonwoods

    So glad I decided to read this am. I too have only my wife, I have no friends that I hang out with regularly and you've made me feel "not as weird." I think it's beyond wonderful what you have, always remain greatly blessed!

  • Hjordes

    So you two have managed to live that fairy tale that every little girl dreams of as a child, but grows up to find doesn’t exist – the one about true love. Honestly, if I hadn’t read you for so long, John, I would think you were on drugs, re-writing your own history.

    Since I am feeling emotionally overwhelmed by this post It is slightly possible that you have made a tiny crack in my armor of belief systems that says that there ain’t no such thing as true love. I would like to know that I’m wrong; I need to think about this.

  • http://www.LosingWeightAfterBaby.com Arlene Pellicane

    I love this! I’m reminded to “not believe it” when I see my sweet husband in the morning. To treasure him. It is truly amazing how God puts us perfectly together.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Whoa. These are some very … deep and touching comments. (Hjordes: yours, as always, is particularly … trenchant. And it’s kind of made me want to write about the nature and/or feasibility of “true love.”) Thanks to you each.

  • http://www.1truebeliever.wordpress.com wickle

    Very, very sweet.

  • http://www.sisterfriends-together.org anita

    No John, I'm very fortunate to have a close relationship (again) with my family after the difficult years surrounding my coming out. The commonality in what you wrote is the way you cherish Cat and she you. You said it so beautifully that at the end of your life one person will have truly known you. It's the same way for me and such a miracle that knowing everything about me, she still loves me as though I'm the greatest thing since velcro.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Anita: Yeah, right? And the part you can sort of never say because it sounds so, "Oh, I hate the way my wallet is so jammed with $100 bills I can barely sit down," is (or at least has always been for me) how DIFFICULT it is to believe someone can love you like that. And that difficulty causes SERIOUS trouble, of course: if nothing else, it makes you want to PROVE to the other person how right you are that they are wrong to love you. And then you just HURT them, and you, in what amounts to the name of love.

    God, love is ugly. Until finally—finally, finally, finally—it's not.

  • http://www.aelc.edu.au/the-naked-ape-blog/index.html Nathan

    That is so beautiful it hurts.

  • Pingback: Posts I Want to Remember « A Thought Chronicle

  • http://www.knotonablog.blogspot.com Ricky H

    Sounds alot like my Patty (aka, my better 90%). I don't get it. I'm a dead albatross around her neck – but she acts like I'm royal jewelry.

    From my Valentine's Day blog post:

    Once upon a long ago, a girl named Patty fell in love with an unemployed, progressively disabled dude, who was ten years her senior and had nothing of any worldly value to offer her. And, as if that weren't insane enough, he was in a rock band with his disabled brother!!! And as if to prove just how outrageous love can be: when he was crazy enough to ask her to marry him — she was crazy enough to say "Yes"!!! And they've lived happily ever after, ever since.

    To many people in this world, that story would just seem ridiculous. But, in reality, it's just the kind of crazy that love delights in.

    Patty and I [are about to celebrate our 10th] wedding anniversary. I cannot even begin to fathom the incredible love and grace she blesses me with on a daily basis (I'm certainly not worthy of such devotion.)

    So, to celebrate Valentine's Day, I've added four songs I wrote for her (from three of our albums) onto my [playlist]. It's just my pathetic attempt to shout from the rooftop that I love her more than I can ever fully express (but, undoubtedly, far less than she truly deserves). She is a daily example to me of unconditional love and amazing grace.

    Happy Valentine's Day. If you're even half as blessed as I am, you are blessed indeed.

    (To hear the songs, just go to http://www.myspace.com/rascapalian)
    and listen to the songs:

    "Love Like This"

    "Cinnamon Days"

    "Almost Too Real"

    "You'll Be The One".

    Enjoy!

  • http://www.knotonablog.blogspot.com Ricky H

    In my haste, I posted my previous comment without editing. I apologise if it is longer than is acceptable.

  • Yvette

    Can you teach my husband of 28 years to write me a love letter?

    This was the best.

  • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

    Yvette: That’s very kind of you. Thank you. And, by God, I WILL teach your husband to write you a love letter! Have him call me.

  • http://www.cornerstone4sq.tv Kory Cochran

    Hi again John,

    Hey man, sorry I have not been able to read your posts as I did for awhile. I did get a chance to catch up a bit today and was thrilled to hear about your wife not having the, "evil C-word".

    I read your September 4th post, after reading the good news, and I was truly touched by your thoughts of your wife. I too feel very much as you do, as my wife, Krystal, is my redeeming human on this planet, to me. She came into my life when I pretty much thought my life had ended. It's great that God gave us "killer" wives so that we wouldn't want to die, isn't it?

    Your story about the lady that sent you the cookies was touching as well. Neat to see the kindness that others have out there. I do have to say, being one that is battling a really big bulge himself, her story and pictures were incredibly inspiring and encouraging. I hope she reads this comment and knows that she did encourage my wife and I a great deal.

    -Kory

  • Nelma

    Very nice.

  • Richard Lubbers

    It's amazing how you can create such a lump in my throat.

    I know what you mean John, because Tammy loves me the way Cat loves you. It is an adjustment for me too. We are blessed men!

    You and Cat have a lot in common with Tammy. You should write her and swap stories. She is a very resilient woman with a big heart.

    I love your stuff, Bro. I would really enjoy hanging out with you.

    • http://www.johnshore.wordpress.com John Shore

      I gotcher lump in your throat right here.

      Ha! Manly humor.

      No, but thanks, Richard. I appreciate your very warm sentiment, and have certainly always appreciated your very thoughtful, very kind comments and support generally.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    Beautifully written on such a beautiful relationship! True love—what a marvelous thing it is! I hope that I too shall be so blessed as to know 30+ years of undying ever-moving LOVE!

    It's interesting that love can mean different things to different people and be expressed in a million different ways, but the feeling is always pretty much the same, this feeling you get of perfect love. Of course, no *relationship* can be expected to be perfect (perhaps in this lies the problem that those who doubt true love's existence aren't able to get past), but love *can* be perfect—such beautiful harmony of the souls!

  • ms.glove

    I am so thankful that your blog was recommended to me. I have been reading it at a consuming level for the last three days, and each post just gets better. Thank you for sharing your life with us! I haven’t read a post yet that I haven’t liked…disagreed with, yes, but still liked…however, this post about your love for your wife is by far the best and most touching yet.

  • ms.glove

    I am so thankful that your blog was recommended to me. I have been reading it at a consuming level for the last three days, and each post just gets better. Thank you for sharing your life with us! I haven’t read a post yet that I haven’t liked…disagreed with, yes, but still liked…however, this post about your love for your wife is by far the best and most touching yet.

  • ms.glove

    I am so thankful that your blog was recommended to me. I have been reading it at a consuming level for the last three days, and each post just gets better. Thank you for sharing your life with us! I haven’t read a post yet that I haven’t liked…disagreed with, yes, but still liked…however, this post about your love for your wife is by far the best and most touching yet.

  • kimberly

    most awesome john shore!

  • Sara

    You are a very blessed man John – to be so loved and to be able to love in return. The icing on the cake is that you KNOW it and know to count your blessings.

    Thank you for sharing this very personal view into your life. It gives the rest of us hope ;-)

  • gina francis

    most awesome, mr.shore…most awesome. and happy anniversary to you both, and many more!

  • Marie

    My heart did BACK FLIPS reading this!!! WOW! The power of this!! Thank you, both – Catherine and John!!! Namasté ♥

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Namaste, lovely hippie Marie!

  • Joy

    Some people can only dream of what you and Cat have. (Since we are sharing, I know I do! ). Happy Anniversary and may the sun keep shining for many more years.

  • Laura

    The Lord works in mysterious ways! Sounds like you have all the family you need! May your sun shine for many years to come. Congrats.

  • Richard lubbers

    John Shore, Blessed Man.

    And the sun will rise with healing in it’s wings!

    Happy Anniversary, Friend.

  • SierraStorm

    Oh my…

    Sorrry. Just a little dumbstruck there for a moment.

    The sunshine of your love radiates in this blog entry. Awesome…May you and Cat have many more happy, sunshiny years together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheHereticalWay The Heretical Way via Facebook

    Have a lovely day :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/muirhalleron Muir Halleron via Facebook

    Happy anniversary to both of you! :)

  • Elizabeth Fullerton via Facebook

    One of my favorites. <3

  • Mariah DiPlacido via Facebook

    Happy anniversary, and many more!

  • Rebecca Smith via Facebook

    Congratulations, John. May you and Catherine enjoy many more happy decades together.

  • http://www.facebook.com/sspencerwolff Scott Spencer-Wolff via Facebook

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Brook E Mantia via Facebook

    Ain’t love grand? *sigh* <3 Have a happy day & many more!

  • http://www.facebook.com/revjer Jer A Colvin via Facebook

    Blessings to you both on your anniversary!

  • http://www.facebook.com/nancy.rutman.3 Nancy Rutman via Facebook

    All of a sudden my vision got blurry…

  • http://www.facebook.com/terry.mcguire Terry McGuire via Facebook

    Happy Happy to you both:

  • Jill Hileman via Facebook

    The gorgeousness of this making me melty and smooshed. So glad you found each other!

  • http://www.facebook.com/anomalous4 Ccw Occupytheworld Sparks via Facebook

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Don Rappe

    Happy anniversary to you both. May God bless you with many more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shelley.kesselman Shelley Kesselman via Facebook

    Blessings to you both on your special day, and may you have many more happy years together!

  • Oz in OK

    Beautiful! Happy Anniversary to you both!

  • http://www.facebook.com/linnea.sommer Linnea Sommer via Facebook

    You are both *incredibly* fortunate, and it sounds as if you both know it. Happy anniversary, and best wishes for many, many more.

  • http://www.facebook.com/john10423 John Gragson via Facebook

    congratulations!

  • Diane Bourg via Facebook

    Happy Anniversary.

  • Lynne Jacobson via Facebook

    Happy and Blessed Anniversary to you both.

  • http://www.facebook.com/gayla.vickers Gayla Vickers via Facebook

    How could anyone want more than that! Happy Anniversary to you both!

  • Jim Farris via Facebook

    Happy Anniversary! Yes, stay away from here for a bit … enjoy your day!

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.pilewski Lisa Pilewski via Facebook

    Happy Anniversary young lovers!

  • Diana Avery via Facebook

    Happy Anniversary!

  • Thomas Morgan Metcalf via Facebook

    John…you definitely “married up” just like I did. Happy Anniversary!

  • theresa

    I love this. But I also want to say how lucky Kat is that you LET her love you. There are too many people who turn that kind of love down. I know; this was how I felt about my ex-husband. But he couldn’t handle it, couldn’t believe it, wouldn’t receive it. There must be some parable in there about receiving or not receiving the love of God. I have always thought that, if we were lucky, our spouses were sent to us to be little personifications of God’s love. You are both so blessed.

    • Diana A.

      Andrew Greeley would agree with your theology.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fritz.keppler Fritz Keppler via Facebook

    Happy Annivoisary John dawlin hawt!

  • http://www.facebook.com/christy.emigh Christy Emigh via Facebook

    Wow! Mine too…..I’ve been married 39 years to my best friend. Thanks, John, for your passionate essays…..You aren’t afraid to “hit the nail on the head.” Keep up the good work….From a Huge Fan!

  • Jill Hileman via Facebook
  • http://www.facebook.com/eleanor.mills.94 Eleanor Mills via Facebook

    Wow! That is true love. So nice to hear about.


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