Tuesday, January 27, 2015
Twenty-Five Years Later
A girl stood on the stage of a church. In front stood the statuesque pipes of a mighty organ, a type of second mother. The girl spent much of her childhood sitting on the floor-playing, reading or coloring- listening to the great and gentle notes woven together. It was a safe place filled with wonder, history and magic.
Behind this girl sat people:
Family in the midst of transition. Relatives only known in stories sat patiently. Other members were greatly missed. The lesson: family is not forever.
Friends from different paths woven together into a blanket of support. The lesson: God provides people when we need them.
In her past, this day belonged to someone else. Her life in shambles when they met, he quietly and patiently let her put it back together.
It didn’t matter to him that sex had happened.
It didn’t matter that years before that a tarnish fell upon her.
It didn’t matter what was taught in Church about the value of her virtue.
He wanted her. He saw adventure and possibility. He saw a partner who hungered for change. A girl fighting for a better life.
A perfect wedding plane was nicely spaced out after graduation. The socially appropriate timing for a momentous event. Then life happened: he was burning out on school and needed to slow down. She lost a job. The moment was now. The girl had time to focus on a wedding. The last months of school could be a honeymoon. No pressures, just college life. It sounded perfect.
Of course friends and family were upset. They doubted the reasons for the date change. Questions of virtue and truth were bantered. Vegas was offered as a cheap substitute.
Miraculously everything fell into place.
The date picked them: January 27, 1990
The church happened to be available. The reception hall was available. The pastor was available. The people were available. Funds were provided. In only six short weeks they were here.
It was at this place where this girl stood. Surrounded by history to face a future.
Both wore white. The past didn’t matter. It was a new beginning.
A day built on simple words of what they would give and be to one another:
To have and to hold
For better or worse
For richer or poorer
In sickness and in health
To love and to cherish
As long as we both shall live.
Tears of hope streaming down her cheeks. Flowers vibrating within the bouquet. They turned to face a sea of people. Their first steps taken together led to a world of their own, on a day that will forever be their own holiday. A holiday to remember promises given in love which would end in adventure.
Twenty-five years later, I sit filled with gratitude for each and every day. This partnership built on a promise has been full of: Kids mostly grown. Laughter and fights. Success and failures. Togetherness and loneliness. Noise and silence. All of it held together by the daily choice of keeping those promises.
I love you more.
Forever. Always. No matter what.