Walking through the halls of school, I see the girls leaning into the guys. Eager, hormonal and curious, boy and girl discover a new subject of education. On Friday night was the first date and on Sunday was the second. By Monday morning, they are a couple declaring their love. The kids with whom they attend school disappear from their worldview now that they are planning to live happily ever after. The wedding will be immediately after graduation, in three years’ time.
Walking through the halls of the tabernacle, I see the altar adorned with candelabrum and flowers. On the table are the sacraments of the Lord’s Supper. The unlit unity candle is set off to the side. The couple stands in the presence of us all, declaring their undying love and life-long commitment to each other before God and the priest. Their hands are clasped together and their eyes are locked on each other. Gentle tears stain their cheeks as well as the cheeks of guests who fill the pews of the sanctuary. It was three years ago that these same parishioners serving as guests for this wedding also wept as mourners. The man standing at the altar now as the groom to be wed stood at the altar then as the widower saying goodbye to his first love. The flower girl standing with the couple has a halo of light about her golden hair and a glow of hope in her eyes. She is the groom’s daughter and is adopting a new mom today.
Exploring the halls of my heart, I hear the heartbeats that skip in anticipation. Then he walked in the door and our eyes met, and it felt as if my heart was suspended in time, for it refused to beat and air simply refused to enter my lungs. Knowing smiles were exchanged and shyness stole my confidence as a gentle blush stole across my face and neck. Over the years, the good, the bad and the ugly have been shared already. The past two weeks have been interminably long, waiting for him to return from his trip. So why am I afraid to say it?