Tuesday, July 5th, 2022

P Shopper Columns



SOUL MATES




I wonder how many of us believe in soul mates? And, if so, do we know them when we see them?
Are there many people who are unfamiliar with the concept? And how many of us have a couple (or many couples) in our lives we would describe as soul mates?
Obviously, I have known a few couples who exemplify the concept. My first wedding invitation came when I was a child. My uncle Chick Merchant married his childhood sweetheart, Mary Napolitano. I believe this couple is why I have believed in the concept of soul mates from that wedding on.







Chick was a tall, light-haired, attractive Irishman with a keen sense of humor, an expansive intellect, and an infectious aura of joy. With her black hair and kind, comforting countenance, Mary was stunning and projected a mirthful air that made everyone want to be her friend. Being in the presence of these soul mates was always a delight.

The couple lost three babies to a blood type that was deadly all those years ago. They then adopted three very blessed children, who eventually gave them grandchildren. With large clans of relatives nearby, they shared their humor and love with many relatives, whose numbers were only dwarfed by an unending number of friends and colleagues.

When Chick Merchant passed away 10 years ago,  Mary went on for another decade. She was always kind, always a favorite, but we all understood she wanted “to be with Chick.” She was not morose when stating the obvious: she was just missing a man we all knew was irreplaceable.
When Mary passed, she was almost 95. While we all loved her and knew we would miss her terribly, a voice within us said: “Thank you, God.” We knew, without any doubt, that Mary was not only thankful, but having a reunion.

You will be fortunate if you
get to experience a
“Chick & Mary” duo.  
That combo name
was spoken so often
in the family that
we all remember
a very young relative who
once asked, “Aunt Mary,
Why does everyone call you ChickenMary?”


There are all kinds of couples, and many are happy with their lives. But the term soul mates applies to a relationship unique from lasting, unique from pleasant. If one has not known soul mates, be of good cheer; you will know them when you see them. You will be fortunate if you get to experience a “Chick & Mary” duo. That combo name was spoken so often in the family that we all remember a very young relative who once asked, “Aunt Mary, Why does everyone call you ChickenMary?”

I have known a few more soul mates and their atmospheres project a sense of well-being that others feel. If we sit very still and think of couples who are delightful to be with, and we come away feeling that all is right with the world, they might just be soul mates. Happy hunting!




Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 39 years.