I’ve said it many times: “There are few days in our lives, which, when they have come to an end, will have changed us … forever. One of those day, of course, would be the day we come to a personal faith in The Living God. Another would be the day our first child is born, or the day our first grandchild comes into the world. On those days, we somehow change, internally and on a very visceral level.
Another of those days is the day we marry. We somehow step, in a moment’s time from one place in life to another totally different and new place. Today I celebrate the date I experienced transformation as a man. I changed, from being just another guy to being ‘the husband of one wife.’ Today, I celebrate her, again. And us, again. And, ‘it’ again:
One of those days — 51 years ago — that changed my life … forever.
I remember, now. I stood, That Day, waiting.
That gathered group of friends waited, too.
We waited for the mothers to take their seats,
And then, we all watched bride’s maids slowly walk,
Holding their heads, just so,
Keeping perfect cadence, just as they had rehearsed.
People whispered among themselves, on That Day, too.
As I stood, That Day,, waiting,
I watched them, old women leaning over and young mothers stretching to notice.
They noticed how beautiful the ferns looked in the front of the church.
They pointed, too, as they noticed how cute the flower girl was dressed, And how the ring bearer held his pillowed treasure.
And they noticed me.
I could tell, as I read their whispering lips.
They saw my nervous and serious visage,
As they smiled,
As they whispered,
And then, the music changed.
And all our wait was over.
It was time.
Here comes the bride.
And the people stood.
As, indeed, they should.
Those doors swung open.
And SHE entered.
Regal is what she was.
And she captured me.
I saw her, backlit by stained glass windows.
A shadowed outline of my wife-to-be,
Slowly marching down a one-way aisle.
No turning back.
No turning aside.
Fearlessly, she faced forward, on her father’s strong arm,
Toward that altar,
Toward those vows,
Toward that ‘me.’
We meant it, when we met, there.
I still remember:
The promises we exchanged.
The Holy Communion we shared.
That kiss, that embrace, as two-become-one.
And then, that turn…to see all of ‘them.’
Husband and wife, “til death do us part.’
Words that changed us,…forever.
That Day … the day that changed both of us, forever.
On this anniversary,
On the occasion of our being married for a long time,
I salute my wife, and join in the sentiment of the wisest man who ever lived:
“A wife of noble character…is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her, and lacks nothing of value.” (Prov. 31:10,11)
(For my Randee, on the occasion of our 51st anniversary, Aug. 9, 1968)