Sixty-year old dancin’ skirts swirled around as the war veteran and his belle danced at the All American Swing concert last weekend. The dancefloor was full of such couples, the hunched man gently holding his lover’s wrinkled hand as the dance slowed to a flowing breeze. How long have they been married? How many times danced these dances? Do they remember holidays when the smartly-uniformed man joined his wife in the absence-wrought fondness? Several songs went by, and it was clear that they were trying to forget the arthritis that was creeping through their bodies as they swung the moves of yesteryear. No fatalities had occurred when we hit the 45-minute mark, which I only remember because that is the time when a young, early 20’s couple stood to take the dancefloor. I felt this contained scoff come from within me – who were they to take the floor with couples who had been dancing together for 60 years? They were all lovey-dovey, but do they recognize that they have not yet attained love? Will they suffer all wrongs, take no offense, sacrifice for one another – know the true passion of those who have tested it and tried it and found it has little to do with feelings? One day, I hope, they will know the beauty that through trials grows ever more lovely in the beholder’s eye.
I love events like the one you attended. There is something magical about watching old couples in love and still dancing. But let me add this… the lovey-dovey stuff is important. In a way I love my wife more deeply as every year goes by (so far between dating and marriage there have been almost 17 of them) because I know her more deeply. But in a way nothing has changed. I would have suffered all wrongs, taken no offense, and sacrificed for her the day she became my girlfriend at age 17. Nothing has changed. I am afraid I am going to have to strongly disagree with you here. I attained true love the moment I knew that Leslie Mezger was to be my true companion. Passion is key to marriage (as it is to many other things in life). Passionate marriage must rely on a commitment, to each other and the Christ, to be sure. But feelings must not be downplayed as if they are just some fleeting emotion that will pass once life and the “real world” have settled upon us. Feelings are of the utmost importance. Sometimes those feelings burst forth with life and sometimes they must be recalled from ages past. But the feelings are not only valid,they are crucial. My feelings for my wife have never waned… from day one until now. I have known dark, dark days. Days of sorrow. Days of sin. Days of intense fighting with my wife. But my feelings have never waned. She is my love. Love at 16 can be just as powerful and true as love at 72… sometimes even more so.>>But like I said… I am a sucker for older folks and romantic dancing.
Thanks Chris. I appreciate hearing that from someone who’s been married a while, and remembers the first day as precious as tomorrow.
Thanks. I regret that I missed your brother when he was in town. I had band practice that night… and that is something no one is allowed to cancel or miss save famine or flood.