There are some love stories that people are not privy to observe. The blooming relationship of one's parents is one, one's grandparents is another. Time and circumstance forfeit opportunity and we are left observing that which has maturated. There are times, however, when life circumvents itself and we are able to observe a love story out of time - but in its place.
I have not known the man to be without, to be alone, for most of my life. Yet the past few years that is how he has been. Unpartnered, unmarried, unwed. He had not finished his maturation process with her and yet he had. And there he was. He hurt. It was evident in the worry wrinkles around his eyes. He had lost a spark.
Then he had a friend.
A friend who he could eat with, watch movies with, talk with, share with, cry with. A friend who in time he learned to love. A friend who in time he learned to need. A friend who in time he didn't want to be without.
As I sat there amid the congregational singing on his wedding day my heart was finally full. I felt that last drop of joy spill in that caused my heart to overflow. My eyes began to water and the tears began to fall. What a homecoming! What a gift! I had been gone too long - chased away by grief and sadness, by the knowledge that things would never be the same. And as I sat there I observed life going on, new people smiling, old people smiling. Life is not so different after all.
When things change it can be shocking. It can be paralyzing. But the courageous ones gather themselves up.
And when I left I saw that thing that filled my heart with joy the most - he had his spark back. That twinkle in his eye.
Mr. and Mrs. Richard Dodgen
August 16, 2008