I attended a fairy tale wedding a few days ago. Two people aflame with the glory of true love… a blaze I am confident will carry them through the next fifty years. Witnessing the ceremony, the world seemed full of possibility, aching for all that is good and true. These two, I am sure, should the Lord let them live that long, will still walk hand-in-hand when they are old and gray.
Watching this couple, I remembered my own wedding day. My true companion and I walk somewhere in the middle between our wedding and fifty years. We knew so little of love on that first day, yet couldn’t imagine feeling more as the setting sun embraced our vows in gold. The tenderness and devotion forged only through tears and determination to clasp hands again-and-again, whatever wild winds blow, was inconceivable then. Our love for each other, battered and refined and re-chosen time after time, now glistens like mica, layer upon translucent layer, compared to that first day.
And yet the beginning and the middle pale in comparison to another love story, fifty years long. That initial blaze simmers into slow-burning ember. This is passion, true love, quiet and inextinguishable, lighting the way for their children and other witnesses, like me, into the luminosity of eternity.
Congratulations Dennis and Darlene, on fifty years of true love. I’ve been privileged to witness about forty years of your story. And I am grateful.