I met the man after a memorial service that I wrote texts and did the music for. He had lived in the same little town I grew up in and spoke with so much love and tenderness about his wife who passed away last year. I had planned to go home after the service, but decided to just grab a coffee first. I ended up sitting next to him, listening to his stories and memories and feeling my heart swell because he reminded me so much of my grandparents.
When my husband and I married, our service was a special one, as my husband does not share my faith, not even formally. Many of the classic symbols didn’t mean a thing to my husband – and we tried to find replacements that would be meaningful to both of us and sacred at the same time. When the couple takes the light from the Paschal Candle to lit their own wedding candle, that action carries meaning and a promise – but not to my husband. So we replaced it by the wedding candle of my grandparents that my parents still had. That was a symbol, full of meaning and promise, to both of is. I still think of it as one of the best parts of our wedding. We hoped the love we had been able to see and feel between my grandparents (married for 65 years!), would inspire us and remind that a love as deep as theirs is a choice. I choice we can make every day. A choice we promise to make every day.
The hours I spent that night with that old man reminded me of all that. Of love and hope and promises. How a life can be filled with them – and in the end fulfilled by them.