Ah… Ohio in the fall. If you don’t like the weather, just wait a day. 27 years ago today, Tywana and I made our relationship official just about 100 miles from here in Lexington, KY. Much like today, the previous week had been cold and rainy, but a warm front had come through and our wedding day was unusually warm. Today, it is literally 30º warmer than it was just about two days ago. We had no idea what life had in store for us when we took those vows, but we were willing to face it together.
One of the Bible verses we chose for our ceremony and to base our marriage on is Ecclesiastes 4:12 “Though one may be overpowered,two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” In our marriage, we viewed God as that third cord. I remember an illustration. I can’t recall where it is from, if I came up with it or it was taught to us, but we pictured ourselves as vertices on a triangle with God at the top and each of us at one corner on the base. As long as we grew toward God, we would be growing toward each other.
27 years of being together is not easy. The first few years were tough as we adjusted to not living each living our own separate lives, but in creating a life together. Then came Kayla, another cord. Then Shayna. I have a special bond with each girl, loving them equally but differently. Kayla is like me in that she’s serious, wants to do things the right way, and puts others first. Kayla and I like old movies (the old rom coms are the only rom coms worth watching). We share a love for the Beatles and all things hippie. Shayna is like me in her competitiveness. We loved to play video games or go out in the backyard and toss a frisbee, a football, or bump a volleyball. She wouldn’t watch a movie made before 1990 and nothing with romance. But, we shared action movies. Shayna was shy around many people, but in the right in environment, she would become the jokester. Shayna loved to teach people and to lead by example. She had a tongue that could praise you one minutes and cut like a knife the next. These are the things we shared. Our strand had become five cords and quite strong indeed with each of the four us playing our roles and with God interweaving in there.
When tragedy struck, it left all of us devastated, of course. My views of God had changed over the years, being no less a part of my life but now I’d use the word Source or Spirit because I don’t see God as a man anymore. I sometimes even used the word Mission because it’s the Mission that anchors me into this reality in addition to my attachments to Kayla and Tywana. These past 863 days have not been easy. It’s been Hell on Earth. The lack of Shayna’s physical presence and even Kayla’s physical presence as she lives 180 mile away has tested me and our marriage like it and I haven’t been tested since the early days. The depression I deal with, the financial stress that overwhelms me at times do not make this an easy road to travel. But, travel it we have. Tywana and are remain dedicated to each other, to Kayla, to Shayna (who we know is still here with us), and yes, to the Mission.
Today, I sit and reflect back over 27 years and I can easily recall that spring-like day in Lexington, KY when I said “I do” to my partner for the remainder of my days here. I remember looking at Kayla for the first time. I remember the stress of thinking we were going to lose Shayna before we ever laid eyes on her as she made her coming into the world quite the adventure. And I remember all the ups and downs of the 27 trips around the sun we have had since that day.
I am grateful for having found a partner who was strong enough and willing to endure all that we have endured. I am grateful for the two wonderful human beings who have come through us. I am grateful that we have been successful on our Mission to this point. I am grateful for the confidence i have in Spirit to guide and and keep me safe, even when it appears all is in jeopardy. And I am grateful for the Love that binds us one to another. I cannot say I want 27 more trips around the sun. But, I look forward to the rest of whatever may come. I love you, Tywana. I love you, Kayla. And I love you, Shayna.