A few years ago, I put together a play list of songs that reminded me of “us-” and I am listening just now. If you are married, at least for more than the few weeks or years, then you know what you hear when you listen to such a list. You hear time and the ages of love.
The music of youth is good, causing me to recollect forgotten goods (“I LOVE LA!”) or just when our now mature love was young (“Say You, Say Me”). All is well, even if nobody but the two of us now listens to the “The Student Prince.” Artie is no longer quite “The Kid,” so I surely am not either. Still we both dream of adventures more than we did when we were married: Constantinople beckons!
Yet there is a bite to listening to Bob Hope sing “Thanks for the Memories.” When I picked this song for our playlist, Bob was well known and seemed immortal (pushing 100!). Now few in my classes know his genius or the song, basically nobody. He is one whom fame had run out and so the name has died not so long after the man.
That is my fate not so long from now, being less accomplished and having little fame. That is true, but not so sad. Who expected anything else? If God does not recall our names, then we have no hope of immortality. Is this sad?
I suppose so, if there is no greater hope than this life. Love limited by now is a snare and delusion. The more you love, the greater the loss when death comes. Still, there are new joys, greater jollifications, and this year is better than the first year. It is true, if hard for an outsider to believe.
Our marriage, like most, began in hope and endures with hope. I was broken by my own failures and I hoped Hope could save me. That was wrong of me, but it was still sort-of-true. She endured me and so I am different, better. If true love continues into eternity, as the Orthodox Church teaches, then this is hopeful. Mayhap all our loves will be purified. Marriage songs over the years are hard, lost babies, harder still, that darkling year, and yet never hopeless. Hope is with us always.
We endure. We keep loving. New songs keep coming up on our playlist and the Church tells us that this will happen world without end.
The good, the great, the joyous has outweighed the bad. That is a foretaste of reality. The good endures, the bad fades. Every fight, conflict, disagreement fades, contracts, dissolves in enduring love. Love is God and God never dies.
There is a happy land, not so far away, where Uncle Roddy and Auntie Karen are, Nana and Papaw, Granny and Papaw, Father Michael, Professor Geier, so many relatives, friends, mentors, saints, redeemed sinners that hoped beyond hope. Love endures.
My playlist has ended now and the only sound is my keyboard. Words come clicking along like a train on tracks heading to the Beulah Land where every hope will be fulfilled in the songs of the saints. Nothing will be lost or forgotten. Our wedding will be recollected in the grand union of Christ and His Church and all the loves of this life will be consummated.
This makes me very happy.