Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Love Song

On a Monday evening in October 1992, a group of fellow students were gathered in apartment 55, where 6 roommates were sharing residence for the school year. They carved jack-o-lanterns. Mormons may take added meaning from the fact that this was the first meeting of a newly-formed family home evening group in a BYU student ward.

Sharing one pumpkin were a large Samoan young man wearing the shorts and flip-flops that would prove to be his standard attire even in 18 inches of snow, a history major from southern California whose main interest at the moment was in fact not history, but his band, and a blond east-coat sophomore, desperately trying that year not to be insecure.

The musician had not remembered meeting the girl previously as she'd been one of six he'd introduced himself to, but she had him pegged as a very cute slacker. She'd thought he was at an age when he should have been out on a mission. That evening, with squash-y hands, she found out that he'd been gone and back. He wasn't a slacker--just a baby face. He found out she was from Massachusetts, and therefore thought it quite appropriate to tell a Ted Kennedy joke. She was not impressed. Being only 18, she'd not yet learned to temper a certain amount of emotion as a courtesy to new acquaintences. So she glared immediately with what he'd later describe as an "if looks could kill" look. Having once sworn off of ever dating an eastern girl, he let this largely roll off of his back and pursued another roommate.

He continued to spend a lot of time though in apartment 55, often bringing his guitar to sing to and with the girls. They were fun and he was relaxed around them. She was slightly jealous of the roommate he was dating, but continued to become good friends with him. They were both funny, smart, and artistic and, politics left aside, always had a great time together.

Back from Christmas break, and then another month or two of subtly throwing herself at him, he finally asked her out. Days before that first date he wrote a song. It would be his last for almost 15 years. Although she'd vowed she was NOT going to BYU to get her MrS, they married midway through her junior year, and their second daughter was 5 months old when she finally got that diploma.

For several years mutual friends would ask her if he'd written her a song, and it would hurt her heart to reply that he hadn't. But she'd tell them, and herself, that his muse being frustration and disappointment in love and life, he hadn't written anything since they started dating, and if he started now, she'd have to worry that something was wrong.

Last night he brought her into their bedroom to give her an early anniversary gift. When he picked up his guitar, she knew what it was and tried not to cry. Simple chord progressions and a beautiful melody sung by an out of practice voice told the story of their love from that first Kennedy joke to the uncertainty of plans they now find themselves in. An interruption from their 3rd daughter with a pinched finger seemed fitting. Neither had dry eyes by the end.

They are still best friends, still ridiculously in love, and still unsure how either of them were lucky enough to get the other to marry them. Looking back, it would appear that neither were entirely ready for what marriage would mean for them, but that fact hardly seems revelant now. Fourteen years have passed with joy and with sorrow but always with love. The next fourteen are sure to be even better.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!