Is Love Eternal?


Is love eternal? Are lovers somehow entwined forever? In Kurt Vonnegut’s novel, Cat’s Cradle, he explains that people move through the centuries together as a connected group. In life after life, a person keeps meeting and interacting with the same souls.

Could this be possible? Could love survive death? Interestingly, if you’ve taken a marriage vow, there is only a promise to be bound together until death. But maybe it’s even longer, maybe even eternity.

There’s no smoking gun, or even a twang from Cupid’s bow, but there are hints.

In 1997, my wife Ann and I moved to Arkansas. I knew we both had some long lost roots in Arkansas, and living here made it easier to do research so I started looking at genealogy records at the public library.

One day, I was trying to track down my great-great-grandfather, Jeremiah Woolcott. I got lucky and found him in the 1850 census of Pope County. I was elated to find this information and was poring over the hand-written page excitedly. Then I noticed something that blew me away.

Living right next door to my ancestors were my wife’s ancestors. This is truly amazing. About 160 years ago, our families were farming adjacent plots of land.

Ann and I met in 1966, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where we both grew up. We spent our wedding night in Russelville, just a few miles from where our ancestors had lived. Our honeymoon was in the Ozarks. We didn’t know why, but we both felt somehow attracted to Arkansas and kept returning here again and again over the years.

When I found information documenting that our ancestors must have known each other, there was a kind of cosmic click in my head, an explanation for our feelings.

I mean, what are the odds? Time and distance had long since separated our families, and the place we met was hundreds of miles and more than a century distant.

Was it just a very random coincidence? Maybe, but maybe not. Perhaps people are a coalescence of past lives, refined through time. Maybe love is not transitory, but ordered, and survives, jumping from one generation to the next.

Perhaps the love of your life is even more, perhaps love is timeless, the only constant that endures.

8 responses to “Is Love Eternal?

  1. This is fascinating, Ron. How neat to find out that you and your wife share histories, even beyond the history of your long marriage. It definitely gives credence to the possibility of true love being eternal. Happy Valentine’s Day!

    • Thanks Jan, your comments are always so generous. Did you write a flash fiction last friday? It was a hectic time for me and I may have missed it. I’m going to go to your blog and look. I’ll probably find something good there to read regardless. I’ll go out of a limb here and say that from what I know of you, I think you might be sharing a true love too. Happy Valentine’s.

      • Thank you, Ron. No, I missed out last week due to a combination of internet problems and being out of town. I’ve sure been enjoying your writing since you’ve joined the Fictioneers!

  2. Good post, Ron. Have you read “Sacred Contracts” by Caroline Myss? If not, you might want to check it out. Even if you disagree with what she writes it is still good food for thought.

  3. I found this fascinating. Your ancestors living right next to each other. Maybe there is something to it after all. Thank you for sharing this true story.

  4. like the others before me, I am fascinated with this story. Somehow, and I have no proof at all, it seems more than just coincidence. Maybe I’m just romantic enough to want to believe in eternal love and the call of our ancestors. I can’t get over this story!

    By the way, I’m an Oklahoma girl transplanted to Colorado 🙂

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