Pop Pop Epistle #69 – About 8/1/81

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Dear Grandkids,

It was 38 years ago today that Nona and I got married. I’m sure that seems like a long time to you but for us it is a blink of the eye. August 1, 1981 began an awesome journey that I am grateful for everyday. I am blessed beyond measure to be married to your grandmother and hope that one day you find a helpmate as perfect for you as she is for me. There were also lots of memories leading up to our wedding day that I will tell you about sometime. Here is a poem I wrote and then read at our rehearsal dinner – it alludes to a lot of these stories.

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Memories of Love
Now that we have waited for this very special day
We can’t help but to consider memories –
Those times that we remember that have taught us how to love,
Those times which often brought us to our knees.

I remember on that first day when I looked into your eyes
And I wondered if that sparkle might mean love.
I could feel myself get flustered when I thought about your smile
But I wasn’t sure exactly what it was.
And I remember two weeks later when I tried to hold your hand
But I wasn’t sure the time was right to act.
You can’t imagine how much faster my heart began to beat
When I squeezed your hand then felt your hand squeeze back.

And oh how I remember the first night that we kissed
When that minstrel played that melody for us.
We had wined and dined for hours on ice cream and beignets.
And yet it seemed that we would never eat enough.
(So we ate until our bellies nearly bust).

Now those were the beginnings when our love was being made
Though we really didn’t know what love could be.
Somehow we were prepared for those rocky roads ahead
And now that brings back other memories.
What about the first trip you made back to New Orleans
When it seemed that we had only grown confused;
Yet when you left we realized that if love was to last
It would have to be a love that was pursued.

Do you remember all those times that year  we had to say goodbye
And I wasn’t sure that I could handle all your tears;
They made me want to smile since they were prompted by your love
Yet I could sense your face was often wet with fears.
And then there at the beach when we almost let love go
That was the first time that you ever saw me cry.
But now when I think back to the prayers I prayed that night
I realize that’s the night that love survived.

When you went off to school that Fall I knew I had to follow
So our love might finally have a chance to grow.
I spent three months in Raleigh getting turned down for a job,
But I learned some things I thought I’d always known.
And now we come to Christmas when our love fell into place,
But I remember those two times I almost choked.
I was nervous when I asked you if you’d like to wear that ring
But I was really nervous when I asked your folks.
Then I went off to Boston and you stayed here at home
But we both knew that we had to take that chance;
And when it all was over and we both were home to stay
We knew our love was much more than romance.

So now we stand before the alter and I take your hand in mine
And we begin our life together in God’s will.
We have a lot of hopes and we have a lot of dreams
But we know there’s nothing love cannot fulfill.

So now that we have waited for this very special day
We can’t help but to consider memories.
Yesterday is not forgotten, but tomorrow is our hope
As we look forward now to all that love will be.

“As we look forward now to all that love will be.”  When I wrote that 38 years ago I had no idea how prophetic it would be. There are 38 years of memories wrapped up in that one line that I will tell you about in future epistles. Memories that tell a great love story. And you are very much a part of that story.

Never forget that you are very loved!

Pop Pop

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