It isn’t an accident that I decided that this particular blog written while on the virtual tour for My Dearest Mr. Darcy would be reposted on my website today, the 19th of July. When I wrote this essay it was partly in response to those naysayers who criticize my romantic, happily-ever-after story, but also as a direct answer to the blog host who harshly reviewed Loving Mr. Darcy several months previously despite having a blog dedicated ostensibly to romance and positive love.
Now I appreciate the words within this essay from a new perspective because 24 years ago today my husband Steve and I were married. Yes, today is our anniversary and we are celebrating while in New Orleans with our kids and my father. Not sure what we will do, but it will be memorable as always. I have said it before and have no reason to doubt I will be saying it 30 years hence, but I believe in true love and happily-ever-after. Mixing my personal experiences with quotes from poets of the past, I tried to state my case. Read and enjoy!
“The Heart of a Poet” by Sharon Lathan
The pearly treasures of the sea,
The lights that spatter heaven above,
More precious than these wonders are
My heart-of-hearts filled with your love.
~Heinrich Heine, “Of Pearls and Stars”
Several years ago I set out on a mission. Inspired partly by a beautiful love story portrayed on screen and within the pages of a book, and equally by my own love story of over twenty years, I embarked on a quest to intimately reveal a happy marriage.
Today the concept of a “happy marriage” is deemed a fantasy; an oxymoron. I do not believe that, not now or when I first sat down at the keyboard and wrote the opening lines of Mr. and Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One. I knew it was possible to have a fulfilling, contented, romantic, and passionate relationship within a marriage, even after several decades. I knew it because I witnessed it with others. I knew it because God said it was to be so. I knew it because I possessed one myself.
And the moments which find life there
Become the brightest stars above,
Which live forever beautiful
In the sky of my heart’s love.
~Steve Lathan, “Your Smile Stops the Minutes”
I knew it was not a Mission: Impossible. I approached the life of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy with my goal clearly in mind. The mission statement was clear. Love. Romance. Passion. Those are the attainable treasures that they would pursue. Daily. Weekly. Monthly. Yearly. And maybe even on into eternity.
Throughout my Darcy Saga series I have faithfully held to the ideal. I wanted to give Darcy and Lizzy the life that I believe Austen intended. I wanted to allow the reader to journey along with them as they attended to their normal lives with an unusual event thrown in occasionally. I wanted to show the Darcys growing in their accord and deepening their love.
Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love, time is eternity.
~Henry van Dyke, “Time Is”
My newest novel, My Dearest Mr. Darcy, follows along in the same vein as the previous two. The Darcys travel to the seacoast for a holiday jammed with history, entertainment, action, and romance. Of course! Then they return to Pemberley, settling in and enjoying the autumn months. The culmination as their first year of marriage draws near is the birth of their child. As with all my novels, the theme is positive with the love between these two heightening as they await the addition to their family.
Have I convinced a skeptical world? Have I succeeded in restoring hope? That is for each individual to decide. I have succeeded in my mission: The Darcys are still in love, are passionate for each other, delight in their company, respect and honor their vows, and are not ashamed to express their feelings.
Darcy was gazing into his lap with a soft smile upon his mouth. He did not answer hastily, finally speaking lowly, “I do not know if I can sufficiently place it into words. Perhaps that is why the poets wax eloquent with platitudes and analogies as mere common phrases do not suffice. All I know for certain is that almost from the moment I saw her she has filled my senses and my heart. There is joy with Elizabeth in every way and every moment, whether present or no. I feel light and buoyant, yet also grounded and secure. Giddy and frivolous, yet strong and steady. Childish and masculine simultaneously.” He chuckled softly, closing his eyes and leaning back against the carriage wall. “Yet you know what the most miraculous part is, Richard? Greater than how she makes me feel is the miracle that she loves me.” An excerpt from My Dearest Mr. Darcy by Sharon Lathan
True love. Everlasting love. Passionate love. These are goals to reach for. Do you agree?
I can answer answer yes to the above. I am blessed with a terrific man to share my life with. Honey, I do love you more today than ever before. Happy Anniversary!