So I’m pulling into the Starbucks drive thru lane. I’m tired. I’m going to ask if they’ll pump caffeine directly into my veins. On the radio they’re talking about these two people who’ve been married for 75 years. And while I know I should be thinking, “That’s beautiful.” Instead I’m thinking, “That’s too long to have live on this exhausting planet.”
I told you; I’m tired.
But then, the story is over and just as I order my coffee, they play a song. It’s a song I have never heard on the radio. It’s the song Justin sang to me as I walked down the aisle at our wedding.
I stop hearing the radio and, as if it’s being piped in from the past and magnified via loudspeaker, Justin’s voice fills the car. I can see him. Everyone around him is dressed in tuxes and gowns, just exactly as they were that day, but in my momentary vision he looks like he does now and he’s wearing jeans and a worn grey henley pushed up at the elbows. He’s sitting on a chair and playing his guitar and smiling at me. Unlike on our wedding day, he’s not nervous at all and his voice never falters. He’s singing,
Tomorrow morning if you wake up
And the sun does not appear
I will be here…
And I will be here
When the laughter turns to crying,
Through the winning and losing and trying
We’ll be together
‘Cause I will be here…
I think of that couple on the radio and of my here husband and I think, “With him, I can do 75.”
Six minutes later I pull into the Y and park my car, my kids sleeping in the backseat. I decide not to wake them and turn up the radio I’ve turned down. I take a swig of the coffee, and I hear this,
He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane, I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
When all of a sudden I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory,
And I realize just how beautiful you are
And how great your affections are for me…
I’m crying now, my hands raised above my head, my mouth stuck in a smile that makes singing awkward, but I’m singing anyway, singing with abandon, completely forgetting the two sleeping kids in the back seat and the fact that I’m in a parking lot parked beside a sidewalk.
I re-visit the words to the song as it ends, googling the lyrics I already know by heart… My afflictions eclipsed by glory.
I read them and I’m reminded of how love lightens burdens, of how companionship and connection make even the most arduous walk a joy, of how time with a love sets the clock hands to spinning.
Love makes life easier, fuller, and faster.
I’m writing this post in my parked car. I’ve turned the radio down again. Three quarters of my coffee is untouched, getting cold. I’m typing wildly, my fingers a flurry, trying to capture the epiphany I don’t want to forget.
And as I type, I’m feeling happy and full and, for the first time today, not-at-all tired.