I can still recall sitting at an old upright piano, with another sharing the piano bench and playing the high notes while I plunked out the chords.
Heart and soul, I fell in love with you,
Heart and soul, the way a fool would do, madly,
Because you held me tight,
And stole a kiss in the night.
It was the student recreation room of an ancient building. My high school was a relic, which would eventually be demolished and replaced with a spanking new building. My class would have the honor of being the first class to graduate in that new edifice. The old building held three years of wonderful memories, including that old piano. I didn’t have one a home. I didn’t know how to read notes, but I had a knack for being able to play a familiar tune and add a few improvisational chords. It was in that building that I met the love of my life. I didn’t realize it at the time. We were simply the best of friends for those early years and finally noticed each other as soul mates during our senior year.
This time of year, always stirs memories of first love and excites the heart to remembering all the years beyond that awakening. We were so different from one another. That carried into our marriage. He had a sensitive side, was a romantic at heart, yet he loved the outdoors, adventure and exploring new horizons. His love for the arts extended into his love for the Lord. An outgoing, gregarious, confident young man while I was just the opposite. I had a creative bend as well and we even talked about someday collaborating on some children’s books which I would write and he would illustrate. I had a poor self-image. I never felt good enough, pretty enough, funny enough, or outgoing enough. I had not yet established a good relationship with God, (even though I had God in my life from little on.) See, I was a mess.
Over almost 58 years of marriage, we’ve shared many Valentine’s Days. He would always remember me with flowers or candy or both. He often would gift me with a hand painted Valentine while I opted for a store-bought card with fancy words and beautiful images. Our love has grown from those days sitting at an old piano. We’ve muddled through life at times, wondering if we’d have enough to make the house payment. We’ve suffered through various physical problems, illness and hospitalizations, but seem to come out stronger from each one. We made three children who have in turn given us three wonderful grandchildren and supported us through this process called aging.
Our lives togethers have had many ups and downs, but we’ve learned to depend on God to get us through each one and He hasn’t disappointed us – ever. One of the secrets to our successful marriage is that we respect each other and our own personal space. Our talents run along the same lines, but they don’t interfere with each other.
I am blessed to have this man in my life. He has given me more than I can ever repay. He has loved me even when we argue. Yes, we still argue, but the arguments don’t last as long, because we don’t have the physical or mental energy to sustain them. God is our fortress and will continue to be throughout eternity.
So, as we approach the final years of living, I thank God for this wonderful man and for blessing me with His own love and mercy.
Heart and soul, God fell in love with me.
Even though He had no reason to, gladly,
Because He holds me oh so tight,
Through every day and dark night.