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Long-Time Lovin’

267. Long-Time Loving

In 1992 on March 12th my friend Paul Abels died. Paul for many years was the pastor of the Washington Square United Methodist Church in Greenwich Village in New York City. I had first known him in Rockland County, NY, then ran into him at a writer’s conference where I realized that we had the potential for a friendship and I pursued it.

Paul was the pastor who had announced that he was gay, and the church tried to remove him, but in 1979 the Judicial Council of the UMC decided he was just exactly where he should be.

Paul, his church, and his partner Thom, were all important to me. Paul, for me, was the very symbol of hospitality. He passed on to me his belief that God excludes no one, and he lived that out.

Shortly before he died, I went to visit him in the hospital. Thom was there also of course, and I told both of them that I had written a new song and I wanted them to hear it. I had often sung new songs for Paul and he gave me his critique of them, but at this point he was not talking, but I sang anyway.

Long-Time Lovin’

The best kind of lovin’ is the long-time lovin’

That goes on for years and years.

It goes through the good times and on through the bad times,

It goes through the smiles and tears.

And sometimes in the middle of it all

We ask each other “Is this really love?”

Oh it’s the best kind of lovin’, this long-time lovin’

Is the very best love of all.

We struggled and fought and we sat down and talked

Until sometimes I thought we would never have

Time for loving again.

And then there were other days when the monotony of our

Together ways seemed to say “Why don’t we strike out with somebody new?”

But we couldn’t forget all the good times,

Sitting by fires and not even talkin’,

Blowing out candles and making our wishes,

Tromping through snow-drifts and swimming in oceans,

Sharing our fears and our hopes and our dreams,

And it makes it all worth it, It makes it all worth it.

The best kind of lovin’ is the long-time lovin’

That goes on for years and years.

It goes through the good times,

Right on through the bad times,

It goes through the smiles and tears,

And sometimes in the middle of it all

We ask each other “Is it still love?”

Oh yes, it’s the best kind of lovin’, this long-time lovin’

Is the very best love of all.

© Copyright 1992 by Ann Freeman Price

He listened, Paul did, and as I sang that last chorus, he leaned forward in his bed so that he could see around me and see Thom, who was sitting beside me—because that’s who Thom was—Paul’s long-time love.

It is twenty-one years later, and I still miss him.

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