Posted: Monday, July 30, 2012 9:30:30 PM
As the new millennia dawned, Sue and I were knee-deep in preparation for our July 29th wedding. To be honest, she was knee-deep, as the preparations assigned to me were no more than ankle-deep. But still, there were vows to compose. Being a writer—and her, an editor—this was a responsibility I didn’t take lightly, for she’d know immediately whether I’d put considerable time and effort into their creation ... or not. More importantly, I wanted the vows to be special, a reflection of the depth of my love. Once satisfied with my vows, it was time to select a wedding song, one that would complement Sue’s choice If I Should Fall Behind, by Bruce Springsteen.
A bit of background on Sue and me. This would be a second marriage for both of us; her first had lasted nearly twenty-five years, while mine had lasted nine. We were both 46 years old, hardly kids anymore. A sizeable percentage of love songs concentrate on those aspects of teen or 20-something love: raging hormones, forbidden love, even the clingy, all-consuming “I need to text you 20 times a day, or I’m going to burst” kind. Whereas, we felt the need for lyrics that described a couple that was a little further down the road of life, words that mentioned encountering a couple of bumps along the way—experiences that have helped us learn who we are.
My choice for a song was easy. Solo artist Don Henley had just released a CD entitled “Inside Job,” that included the song “Taking You Home.” The lyrics suggested a man speaking to his wife-to-be (when in reality, Don is addressing his first-born daughter.)
I had a good life
Before you came
I had my friends and my freedom
I had my name
Still there was sorrow and emptiness
'Til you made me glad
Oh, in this love I found strength I never knew I had
The lyrics also spoke to me regarding the six years of freedom I had between my marriages. Unfettered freedom had its good moments, but the desire—and inability—to find my soulmate lent a melancholy to my life for which there was but one salve.
There were days, lonely days
When the world, wouldn't throw me a crumb, no no
Finally, Henley’s song furnished consolation and confirmation that I’d done the right thing by calling an end to my first marriage, even though one’s optimism and hope for the future can take a pummeling when out in the singles’ world.
But I kept on believing
That this day would come
Two weeks before we got married, we saw Henley in concert. Our shouts of “Play ‘Taking You Home’” were answered—a highlight not only of the concert, but heartfelt words that have resonated with us these past 12 years as well.