“They can be like a sun, words. They can do for the heart what light can for a field.”
—St. John of the Cross
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About Jennifer Read HawthorneThe Subject Tonight is Love
October 21, 2014

        Today is my 24th wedding anniversary. Well, sort of. It is the day I married my husband 24 years ago. It’s also the day we got divorced 11 years ago. But we always celebrate, because the day we got married was one of the happiest days of our lives. And we didn’t want to throw away our relationship simply because we were ending the legal form of it.
        On the day we got divorced (our 13th anniversary), we had a private ceremony—just the two of us—in which we celebrated the changing form of our relationship. We each read something—favorite Hafiz poems for me and something he had written especially for the occasion. We played music, we danced, and we committed ourselves to staying in loving relationship always.
        I kept my father-in-law, whom I called “Dad,” refusing to let him out of my life just because his son and I were no longer living together. Our last “date” together was a Royals baseball game, which goes on my list of life’s peak experiences.
        And I sure as heck kept my step-children, now grown and married and having babies of their own.
        In July, I met my ex in Massachusetts for a James Taylor concert. I hosted the Hawthorne annual reunion over Labor Day. Today I got an e-card from him celebrating our anniversary. I’m grateful that with all the opportunities for loss and sadness in this world, my relationship with someone I care deeply about does not need to be one of them.