What I tell you today is the story of a great love. So great that it seems unreal, impossible, a love of those told in the movies. In fact, it is very reminiscent of the plot of a film that Luisa and I watched together: The Notebook. A film that we loved because it relied on our nostalgia to live that kind of love. We had been married for a few years and were savoring and slowly discovering the wonder of spousal union made of totality and gratuitousness. In that movie there is a phrase that struck me in a particular way. She, elderly and ill with Alzheimer’s, stayed by her side day after day and told her, through the pages of a diary, their love story. To the children who asked him why his insistence on being next to his wife who did not recognize him answered with the most beautiful and truer statement he could give: She no longer knows who I am, but I know who she is. A beautiful film, which was very successful and that you probably saw too. Browsing the net, I was looking for information for a meeting that I have to prepare with Luisa, I found the true story of Jack and Phyllis Potter. An elderly British married couple. Jack met Phyllis during World War II in 1941. Jack used to keep a diary and always wrote down a thought every day. That evening in 1941, when he met Phyllis, he wrote in his journal: It was a fantastic afternoon. I danced with a wonderful girl. I hope to see you again. Not only did they see each other again but they married and their lives together, their love, their joys, their sorrows, found their place in the pages of Jack’s diary. In recent years Phyllis has begun to lose her memory, to no longer recognize the man who has been with her for more than seventy years. Jack didn’t lose heart, though. He took his diary and chose to continue to love his bride, although she can give him nothing but an often absent presence. Jack Potter reads those pages every day to his wife, who often can’t even recognize him, to keep their memories alive,fighting against the disease.
A love without time and without borders. That continues to live in the words of this man in love, who confirms daily his love for the woman of his life. Just like in love movies. Just like in the movie Jack doesn’t stop giving himself to his Phyllis because, even if she no longer recognizes him, he knows very well who she is. She is the one to whom she promised love forever, unconditional and free love. This is spousal love: difficult but wonderful.
Antonio and Luisa