Sleeve Notes 101: 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007

Saturday, June 09, 2007

My Umbrella

It's early! Too early for a Saturday morning! Sure, we meant to get up at the crack of dawn, but dawn hadn't even arrived when we rolled out of bed. The sky is gray with a light mist falling. Soon enough it will clear off and the landscape will join in a grand showcase of brilliance. But for now, it's gray.

The smell of fresh brewed coffee greeted me as I stumbled down the stairs. Hair tousled. Sleep in my eyes. I poured a cup and sat down on the sofa. Music streamed from the surround sound. Bodies danced on the screen. We sat in silence, sipping our coffee, enveloped in the sights and sounds. The light streaming from outside filled the room with gray.

Had I been in control of the remote, I would have changed the channel. I wasn't! And so I determined to enjoy what my love was enjoying. Jay-Z came into view, rapping about rainy days and umbrellas. Too lazy to fight for the remote, I watched, tuning out the sound. Into view came the stunning face and figure of Rhianna. What was she saying? When the sun shines we shine together... My ears perked up.

By the time the video was over, tears were rolling down my cheeks. I grabbed the remote, hit the review button to listen again to the lyrics that so inspired me.

These fancy things, will never come in between
You're part of my entity, Here for infinity
When the war has took its part
When the world has dealt its cards
If the hand is hard, Together we'll mend your heart

When the sun shines, We'll shine together
Told you I'll be here forever
Said I'll always be your friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out to the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella
You can stand under my umbrella

In a few short hours, I'll board a luxurious yacht to celebrate the marriage of my good friends Nikki and Simon. They are starting a journey my parents started 40 years ago yesterday. As I listened to Rhianna belt out those amazing lyrics, I thought about the lessons I've learned from my parents. The umbrella lessons! You don't get through 40 years of marriage that includes 3 kids, numerous moves (some cross country), without going through some rain.

Our culture today doesn't really understand the umbrella aspects of a relationship in my opinion. Sure, we've learned to shine together, but too often when the rains come, we hog the umbrella. Rain has been falling consistently on my own relationship lately! There have been times when I've wanted to say "Get your own umbrella!" And yet I was reminded of two people who are still madly in love after 40 years. Not 40 years of just playing in the bright sun shine but 40 years of sun and rain, of day and night. 40 years of holding hands in the sun and holding the umbrella for each other in the rain. There have been times even when they've danced together in the rain. What was the secret? They made a commitment not just for the good times but for all times!

Standing here holding my own umbrella, I realized that the greatest lesson my parents ever taught me was that the rain only lasts for a brief moment in time! And when the sun shines and you're still standing there together, that's when it shines its brightest!

In celebration of my parent's 40th; in celebration of the commitment I will witness today; in celebration of my own 5 years; I offer the love chapter from the scriptures...

Love never gives up
Love cares more for others than for self
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have
Love doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head
Doesn't force itself on others
Isn't always "me first"
Doesn't fly off the handle
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others
Doesn't revel when others grovel
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth
Puts up with anything
Trusts God always
Always looks for the best
Never looks back
But keeps going to the end
Love never dies