Thursday, November 7, 2013

Let Me Lay Down Beside You

Dear John,
I know it's past our bedtime, but I have to talk to you again before I turn out the light. I was watching television tonight, and heard a commercial for something-or-other that used bits and pieces of John Denver's "You Fill Up My Senses.". Of course, my mind immediately straightened out the dissected lyrics and filled in the holes, and I listened to the words in my head. And I got halfway through washing my face before I started bawling. I ended up throwing myself across the bed, and crying harder than I have in months. The cats, being sensible creatures, ran and hid. Jethro, being all boy, hovered helplessly around me looking for something to do that would make it alright. When he couldn't find anything, he started howling at the same pitch I was crying at, thus compounding the noise while expressing, no doubt, his solidarity with my suffering.
It was the second verse that hurt:
Come, let me love you. Let me give my life to you. Let me drown in your laughter. Let me die in your arms. Let me lay down beside you. Let me always be with you. Come, let me love you. Come love me again.

Joe Quinn was right - there is a layer of meaning in those words that you can't understand until after marriage. The song came out while we were in college, and I thought I understood then. I had no clue. I would add to Joe's words, that you can't completely understand the song until you're widowed.

Loving you and giving my life to you were the easy things. Drown in your laughter - well, I know the overwhelming, speechless joy of seeing you joyful, happy, and content. You didn't quite die in my arms, but close enough, and that is a moment that sears itself into a person's memory. I can't begin to describe to you what that's like. And in God's mercy, you will never find out.

But I can't lay down beside you yet - not until Jen lets me dig or the Lord calls me home. And that's what I want more than anything else - to lay down beside you, and to always be with you. That is what loving you means to me now - to own the plot next to yours, have my name and birthdate engraved on it, and wait until the date of my death can be inscribed and I can come to you. Then I'll lay down beside you, and I'll always be with you. And the circle of life and suffering will be completed.

That's all - I just couldn't go to sleep without telling you one more time how very much I love you. I mean every word of this song with every bit of my heart. And can't wait for the day when I get to lie down beside you again, in our second home on the water, and be with you always. Until then, sleep good, my love. Dream of me. Visit us when you can get a hall pass, pray for us always, and leave the light on.

Love you more than life,


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