Sunday, July 29, 2012

Until Death

Until death

Those two little words seem so out of place at a wedding, don’t they? Until death. Who wants to think of death when the bride and groom are celebrating the beginning of their life together. Death is the last thing on their minds. But there it is, that word “death” is spoken during the ceremony. But it is spoken as a promise to be faithful to marriage vows until death. As out of place as it seems on that day, it is the basis for all of their life to come….until death.

On my birthday in 1983, I was preparing for our wedding day the next afternoon. I turned 28 and was ready for all that God had ahead for us. The summer before in August Bud had taken me on a picnic to Harris Hill near my home in Horseheads, NY. While we were there he proposed to me and slipped a diamond on my finger. Our relationship had begun 3 years earlier while I was teaching school in Rochester, NY. He was a student at BBC and began writing to me. So for three years we wrote letters (no e-mail or cell phones in those days) and tried to see each other as often as we could work it out. Oh how precious those letters are to me now!

July 30, 1983, dawned bright and hot! No air-conditioning in the little country church in Breesport, NY, but that did not matter. It was our wedding day. As a surprise to Bud, I wrote new words to a melody, recorded my voice singing the song, and had that song played as I came down the aisle. Tomorrow I plan to go find a cassette recorder and listen to the ceremony. To hear his voice say our vows will bring me to tears, I’m sure. But I need to hear those words of love and commitment again. Especially now. How thankful I am that we did our best to keep our vows. Yes, we failed sometimes, me more often than he. And sometimes most miserably on my part. But we did strive to keep them through the almost 29 years God gave us. I know I am not bound to those vows now that death has separated us as Bud slipped into eternity on April 14,, but I will continue to honor him and his memory by my actions, how I speak of him, and as I continue to minister to the children God gave us. 

Our vows were written by us and are as follows:

Bud’s –
Sandy, before God, our family and friends, I commit myself to be your husband, promising to love you unconditionally and sacrificially, to honor and cherish you, to share with you my dreams and ambitions, as well as my burdens and disappointments, to be your best friend, your provider, your protector, though we may experience illness, hardness or affliction, according to God’s holy ordinance. I love you, Sandy.

And mine –
Bud, I commit myself to you to be your wife. I promise to honor and cherish you above all others, to obey you, to comfort and encourage you through whatever we experience in life. I will support your endeavors as you seek to serve the Lord. I will be true and faithful to you according to God’s holy ordinance until we are separated by death. I love you, Bud.

God is in Every Tomorrow

Recently I was going through things in Bud's office and packing it all up. In the next few posts I want to share some special things I found in his desk, on his clipboard, in his files. They speak of his faith, his confidence in the Lord, his love for his family. These little tidbits speak of the legacy he has left behind. The poem shared below was in the top drawer of his desk. He was not a poem person, so it surprised me to find it. Perhaps someone gave it to him and it touched a spot in his soul. Today it gives me comfort because it is truth.

God is in every tomorrow
Therefore I live for today,
Certain of finding at sunrise
Guidance and strength for the day;
Power for each moment of weakness;
Hope for each moment of pain;
Comfort for every sorrow;
Sunshine and joy after rain.

God is in every tomorrow
Planning for you and for me;
E’en in the dark will I follow,
Trust where my eyes cannot see.
Stilled by His promise of blessing,
Soothed by the touch of His hand,
Confident in His protection,
Knowing my life-path is planned.

God is in very tomorrow,
Life with its changes may come;
He is behind and before me,
While in the distance shines Home!
Home where no thoughts of tomorrow
Ever can shadow my brow;
Home in the presence of Jesus,
Through all eternity now!

Author unknown