June 08, 2005

A Love Story

Have you ever experienced something so breathtakingly beautiful that words failed you? I’ve been trying to find the words to tell you about this past weekend and try as I might, I find myself unable to adequately tell the story in a way that does it justice. In spite of my inadequacies, this story deserves to be told and so I will do my best to tell it.

Last Saturday, I was in a wedding. As all weddings should be, it was perfect in every possible way. Held at the bride’s parents home under a grove of trees with the late afternoon sun whispering through the fluttering leaves, this loveliest of brides married the man who captured her heart as friends and family gathered around on picnic blankets.

It’s not uncommon to see tears at a wedding, but the tears at this wedding carried a certain tenderness and poignancy as friends and family recalled the story behind the story.

As all love stories go, theirs began with “boy meets girl” but it would be a grave injustice to believe that this story began with this boy and this girl. The real story began 23 years ago when a young 17 year old girl met a guy on a trip to Los Angeles. 2 months later, she found out she was pregnant. He sent her money to have an abortion and hoped in doing so he would be rid of them both. As this frightened girl lay on the abortion table, prepared to do what fear said was her only option, she tried to stifle the questions her heart was asking. Moments before the procedure was to take place, the abortionist informed her that she was too far along into the pregnancy to end it. She would have to tell her mother. A month later, laying on yet another table, this dr. informed her that she was not as far along as the abortionist had said—he would have been able to perform the abortion had he not miscalculated. Even at that moment, it was apparent that a story was beginning to unfold.

The girl knew she had to make changes. She was about to become a mother and it was time to get her life in order. She endured the humiliation of being the topic of conversation at her high school, the sorrow of leaving her friends and careless life and went to live in a home for unwed mothers.

The guy made it clear that he wanted nothing to do with her or the baby and so she prepared to raise her child alone. She gave birth to a daughter and named her Robin. It wasn’t long before the father made a surprise visit. Soon he began making regular trips to see his daughter. After several months, he asked the girl to marry him and let him help raise their daughter. She refused him. He was an alcoholic who showed no signs of changing. She would rather raise her daughter alone than with the uncertainty he represented. But he was not to be dissuaded. He, too, began making changes. And so…with much trepidation and not a whole lot of love, she agreed to marry him.

I wish I could say that this is where the story gets good, but the truth is, this is where the story gets very, very bad. It would be so nice if life would applaud our effort to do the right thing by smoothing out the bumps along the way but that is rarely the case. Life would make no exceptions for this young couple. Their road would be long and arduous. They would struggle against their own demons and the ones they created together. For the next ten years, he would battle alcoholism and she would battle him. But through all their struggles, there remained one constant: their mutual desire to become more than they were. They continued to fight, but something had changed. The things that once divided them they were now united in purpose to overcome. They began to work together to battle their demons. Slowly, painfully, this young couple became a formidable team. As their family grew to include 2 more children, their bond grew stronger. Everything they did, they did as a team. Everywhere they went, they went as a team. They were united in purpose, united in vision, united in desire to become something more than what they started out as. They lived their lives honestly and transparently before one another. They didn’t pretend to be something they weren’t. They were demanding of their children, relentlessly imparting values and discipline, but always loving, always nurturing, always tender.

When Robin left for college, they mourned her absence. When she met Mark, they struggled to let her go. But as her father walked her down the grassy aisle, knowing his daughter had saved her heart, her body, her life for this one man, the tears that streamed down his face made it apparent that he regretted not one minute of the time he had shared with her. As he gave his daughter away, he told how he had given her a promise ring when she was 12 and at that time, asked if she would give him her heart until the day that her husband would claim it. He stood before his beautiful daughter and with tears streaming down his face, he asked for the ring back. She placed it in his hand, and with a kiss, he whispered, “You’re free, my beautiful Robin…fly and take your heart to its new home.” But before she could do so…she asked for one last dance. And as her father held her in his arms, she looked him in the eyes and with a smile on her face, she sang these words:

For all those times you stood by me
For all the truth that you made me see
For all the joy you brought to my life
For all the wrong that you made right
For every dream you made come true
For all the love I found in you
I’ll be forever thankful daddy
You’re the one who held me up
Never let me fall
You’re the one who saw me through it all

You were my strength when I was weak
You were my voice when I couldn’t speak
You were my eyes when I couldn’t see
You saw the best there was in me
Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach
You gave me faith ’cuz you believed
I’m everything I am
Because you loved me

You gave me wings and made me fly
You touched my hand I could touch the sky
I lost my faith, you gave it back to me
You said no star was out of reach
You stood by me and I stood tall
I had your love I had it all
I’m grateful for each day you gave me
Maybe I don’t know that much
But I know this much is true
I was blessed because I was loved by you

As you can imagine, there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen as we shared in this most precious and sacred moment, for while this was a love story between a boy and a girl, it was also a love story between a father and a daughter, a husband and a wife, but most of all, it is a love story between a faithful God and His children whom He lovingly redeemed.

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” –Jeremiah 29:11

Posted by PamCHBF at June 8, 2005 03:30 AM

... crying now...

Posted by: Harvey at June 8, 2005 08:20 AM

*sniff, sniff* wait *sniff* That was wonderful. Absolutely wonderful. I hope she has a beautiful marriage.

Posted by: Oddybobo at June 8, 2005 09:43 AM

sniff..... absolutely weeping. What a wonderful story. Best wishes to the entire family!

Posted by: caltechgirl at June 8, 2005 05:51 PM

Oh wow. *misty*

Posted by: songstress7 at June 9, 2005 01:10 AM

What a wonderful story - I'm sharing it!

Posted by: Mom at June 9, 2005 09:27 AM

BTW, that comment from "mom" was from my mom, Pam. :)

Posted by: songstress7 at June 11, 2005 07:05 PM
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