“There ain’t no doubt in no one’s mind

that love’s the finest thing around”

James Taylor

I played piano for a wedding today.  During their vows I couldn’t help but wonder if the couple in their early 30’s knew what they were saying.  I thought of the things I said to Marisa when we were married.  I didn’t have a clue what I was saying.

If I could do it over again I would say something like this,

Dearest Marisa,

I promise to do my best.  I promise to love you, honour you and do what it takes to be Christ to you.  I know you will do the same.  I promise that after we have our one and only fight in New Westminster when I got out of the car and walked to Burnaby when we spoke unkindly to each other, that I will never speak an unkind word to you for as long as I live.  i promise that I will treat you in a way that you will tell me time and time again that if you were in a room with 1000 women, you know that none of them are treated better than you.  I promise to be plugged into you and our children.  I promise that if you come home one day, fall on the ground and tell me that you have cancer, I promise to pick you up.  I promise to be your 24/7 nurse and number one advocate.  I promise, with a holy host of others, to be your loving support.  When you cry, I will cry.  When you swear, I will swear.  When you praise, I will praise.  And when you fight, oh Marisa, I will fight.

I promise that when your earthly life is fading before me, I will make sure you have a ‘good’ death.  I will beg with the doctors and nurses to give you what you wanted.  And I won’t take no for an answer.  And when you die…Marisa…when you die…one Mendelt will die with you.

And the other Mendelt will remember what you said to me.  That Mendelt will remember what you did for me.  That Mendelt will ‘kick at the darkness till it bleeds daylight’.  That Mendelt will walk straight into the unsanitized world of grief but will not forget that you taught me to see the good in things.  That Mendelt will take your children in his arms and tell them over and over again who you were.  That Mendelt will honour each and every one of your dying requests, even the one that is the hardest.  The one when you said that I shouldn’t be so picky in having the kids eat the crusts of their bread. 

And I will remember you when we eat those crusts.  And when we don’t.