Today is my twentieth wedding anniversary. Here is the song I sang to my wife as I handed her the below bouquet.
Yellow Roses for My Love
Yellow roses for my love, Who I’m always thinking of, And ways in which I can support and help her soul to grow; Though my love for you is deep, Mere sentiment is cheap, The thing I really struggle with is how to make it show.
I’ll wipe the table in the kitchen, Take away your dirty plate, Think of other minor kind requests I can anticipate, Find ways to lift your spirits, give you strength to last the day, And in the calm and quiet moments, most of all I’ll pray
For your heart to find its rest In Him, and all he’s blessed, In our lives together as we’ve built this family. Two decades have flown by Of such abundant life That I still can’t quite believe it’s happened all to me.
Yesterday was my wife’s birthday, and since her age is now a prime number, I came up with this song for the occasion (rosnička is the Czech word for a tree frog, which was my wife’s nickname as a teenager. According to Czech folk tradition, tree frogs can be used to predict the weather, and so rosnička is also used to refer to weather girls on TV)
When you are in your prime, Your eyes begin to shine At all the wild adventures that have led up to this date; Five kids, two dogs, two cats, Countless silly games and spats, With lots more fun in the future we anticipate.
Though you can’t predict the weather, Climbing trees is not your game, You’re still the greatest rosnička To ever bear that name. From childhood to this tender age As sister, colleague, friend, You’ve blessed so many lives down here In ways that never end.
Your kindnesses uncountable, Your wisdom deep and strong; You create a home in which We’re glad we all belong. The noble feasts you set before us Fill us with new life, It’s a privilege to know you As a daughter, mother, wife.
I barely have the strength to keep my head above the waves, My face bombarded by a roar of driving rain and spray; The broken hull of my old ship is sinking out of sight, Flashes from the thick, black clouds illuminate the sky.
I’m losing vital body heat,my limbs are growing numb, Cries of rage and anguish pour from my embittered tongue. I’m sure the sharks are circling below me in the deep; As soon as one dares venture up, I’m nothing but fresh meat.
I let my head go under, the storm is muffled, faint; My struggle to survive seems somehow unimportant, quaint; I am so very tired now, why not just let go And let my body drift down where the mighty currents flow?
Off to my right approaches a patch of light and calm, Could it be the peaceful eye within this awful storm? A chance to feel the sun upon my face one last sweet time, Float a while, forgive the world, then join the glorified.
I spot a pair of sandals on the surface over me; The one who lost them overboard evokes my sympathy, But then a strong hand reaches down from between the two, Grabs and pulls me up into the clear and crystal blue,
It is the Lord of Life, he came walking on the waves Through this brutal hurricane my puny soul to save! He rebukes the mighty storm, the sea becomes as glass; Every cloud evaporates, the sky is blue and vast.
“Take a breath, get back your strength, be healed and be restored To the role and purpose you were created for; There’s still so much for you to do before I call you home: Many tasks and challenges, and skills you need to hone.”
And so he walks me to the shore, Where life awaits and so much more, Invigorated, full of joy and hope enough to share.
From this day I start afresh, Battling my mortal flesh, Beginning every morning in grateful, reverent prayer.
When we talk at length, It gives my soul new strength, To carry out each worthy work for which I am prepared.
Today is the twenty-first anniversary of the first time I contacted my wife. Here is this year’s poem:
Communication is so cheap, and yet it brings so much; How greatly we’re enriched by another human’s touch. One and twenty years ago, we took our first small steps, When words were typed and sent with faintest hope in their effect.
Yet as the back and forth went on, a deep connection grew; An unexpected friendship, something beautiful and true, That served as the foundation for a life we both now share, So bountiful and loving that our old selves can’t compare.
The lesson to be taken is to reach out and connect; The worst thing that can happen is that they will just reject Your offer of communication, friendship or support, In which case you’re no poorer, in fact you’re only short
The time you would have spent uncertain, torturing yourself, To formulate the perfect words to cast the perfect spell And win them over to your side as friends or something more, When all that’s really needed is to open up the door
With honesty and openness, being true to who you are; Few healthy people really want a puffed-up movie star. Luckily for me you liked the things I had to say, And who I was inside didn’t frighten you away.
I learned to share my deepest thoughts, my passions and my fears, Building up a trust that’s served us well so many years, So let’s keep talking, sharing, as we build our family, Our lives woven together as a wondrous tapestry.
A plastic block’s a mountain, a rubber ball’s a world, A tabletop’s a nation whose flag was just unfurled. A robot army marches on a super-powered cat; His lasers, bombs and megasword will quickly see to that.
Imagination unrestrained, wild creativity That dances in a thousand realms of possibility, Transforming mundane objects into treasures, toys and games; Enjoying tricks the hundredth time and crying out ‘Again!’
Beauty is exulted in and give its due praise, Basic principles explored in unexpected ways; Enthusiasm on display for all around to see, Opinions given freely with no guile or sophistry,
Gratitude so open, it lifts the room they’re in, Affection overflowing for their dear beloved thing, Simple and infectious joy you can’t help but admire, Purity of thought with no twisted, sick desires.
When Christ calls us to be childlike when we join his family, He grows our hearts to more express our full humanity.
Deep within the mountain fortress of your troubled heart A vicious dragon guards a more than priceless work of art. He smothers it from shining in his greed and jealous rage, Marring its true purpose as a prideful living cage.
“I’m no worse than the others, there’s no need to improve, I’ll only hear the thoughts of those whose views I preapprove. I’m wiser than those fools who strive for beauty, depth and love; I laugh at lofty goals that I know all will fall short of;
“I deserve great treasures more than those who work and build Because of who I am; it’s their fault I am unfulfilled Questions of truth and justice are for others to decide, I’ll wallow in my opulence and drift with every tide
“My appetites alone decide what is worth my time Hurting others is just sport, depriving me’s a crime! Today’s appointed devil I will curse and rend and burn Until my wrath is spent and it is someone else’s turn.”
Another victim wanders in, dressed in robes of white, Carrying a lantern that gives off a meagre light. “This treasure’s mine!” the dragon roars, “You have no power here! I’ll roast your flesh, and as you die, enjoy your pain and fear.”
The victim doesn’t move, and seems resigned to his bleak fate; He’s bathed in flames from that foul mouth, his robes disintegrate, Revealing flesh that’s charred and marred with scars of many kinds; He gasps and shudders with the pain, but does not moan or whine.
“You thought you were so pure, and yet your skin is black with sin; Your shoulders bear the cause of all of this world’s suffering. Now I’ll tear you limb from limb, crush out your final breath, You will meet a pointless and most agonizing death.”
The Dragon lunges forward and pierces the man’s chest, Then draws its claws back to itself in manifest distress; The blood that flows from that great wound is poison to the fiend, Corrodes away the dragon’s form until the treasure’s cleaned
And gleams with a new glory as your soul is born anew, Ready to be servant to the good and fair and true. He suffered for you willingly, his love is unreserved, Go out and pay it forward in a way that’s undeserved.
A day of rest to muse upon your place before your God, Where you have fallen short and where you’ve gone back on your word, The many blessings you’ve received you clearly don’t deserve That fill your heart with gratitude and new desire to serve.
Appreciate the love he shows so far beyond our own, Recall the recent struggles through which your soul has grown, Look back upon the path you’ve trod, the progress you have made, Broaden your horizons to see those that you can aid,
Realign your compass if you see you’ve gone astray, Deal with a nagging problem that has worsened every day, Take the time to reconnect with loved ones you’ve ignored, Put an end to enmities your soul cannot afford,
Gain the wisdom others had to pay a high price for, Make connections that had never come to mind before, Free yourself to concentrate, to learn, to grow, to soar, And look towards the One we rightly worship and adore.
True fortitude has always been the strength to feed your family, To survive when all around are giving up on life; Facing trials as they come with one eye on eternity, Despite your pain and troubles, staying faithful to your wife,
Staying grateful when the hard days come and stretch out into weeks or months, Knowing that the things you have are more than you have lost; Not giving in to promises of easy wealth and influence, Taking time before you sign to truly count the cost;
The strength to listen to a friend, Admit what you don’t know, Seek the truth together In a way that you both grow;
Tell the truth when it still hurts And gaze at your own flaws; Revive a habit left inert That points to higher laws;
Clarify a vague unease To see what can be done To stop a creeping vile disease Before its course has run;
Rectify a thoughtless act, Redeem a broken soul; Lead them back into the light With fresh and healthy goals;
Laugh at unfounded, nagging fears That held your heart in chains When their true nature has appeared And you can breathe again.
Stand strong against each foe and woe, Defend the light you’ve grown; Be more than just an outward show, And know you’re not alone.