They were Depression era Catholic kids, the children of working class immigrant families, growing up in the mining town hills of a little town called Donora in western Pennsylvania. They fell in love in high school and never looked back.
Neither had any other loving partner before they found each other. And neither had anyone else after they met, for sure. They were simply Stan and Lillian, together continuously for seventy-five years total, and for nearly seventy-two years since their 1940 marriage, through Thursday of last week, May 3, 2012, the day when Lillian Labash Musial departed from this earth in death at the age of 91.
Nor everyone finds true love; and not everyone who finds it gets to keep it. Some lose it to the ignorance of youth and all that confusion over the difference between love and lust that often gets in the way. Such is the way of the runaway ego. Only the humble get to recognize the truth and settle early or late for what is really good and genuine. Everyone else gets to get lost in their own ego needs to make love and life what they each need it to be – and to fight accepting that true love and respect for self and others is the real foundation and core of everything that really matters.
Stan and Lillian had it right from the start.
Stan and Lillian apparently didn’t have to think about it to get it right. They had it in the correct light from an early age on, recognizing that all those hits, baseball accomplishments, fame, and money that later came upon them were not what was most important in life. Their love for family, and for each other, was everything – and far and away, more important to their personal happiness and peace together than all of Stan Musial’s worldly success.
God rest your soul, Lillian Labash Musial. And God bless you too, Stanley. May your remaining time on earth be now measured, not by the clock, but by the faith that the day is coming when you and Lillian will be together again. In the meanwhile, and forever, you will continue to be a hero to a few million of us out here, whether you want to be – or not – as one who knows how to live life by the true winds of human nature.
Thank God for placing Stan and Lillian Musial down here in the middle of us all. The world was a better place because of them.