Today is our 27th wedding anniversary. And for the first time, I wasn't awakened with a kiss and an "Happy anniversary, my love." There were no flowers with my coffee, no chocolates by my plate, no small package waiting to be unwrapped, no him hovering in happy excitement. He was such a romantic.
Today also is All Souls Day, the day we pray "for all those whom we love but see no longer."
It was important to Gayland that on the day we wed we also remember his deceased parents, Mattie and Mart, his brother Larry, and his 8-year-old nephew Jeffrey.
While the loss of his parents was hard, the untimely deaths of Larry and Jeffrey in an automobile accident was a life changing moment for him. When almost overwhelmed with grief and loss, he determined to live a life centered in joy and love of God, and it shaped his life and his ministry from then on.
Now that they are all together again, I remember them all, along with my parents, Judy and Alan Sherrod. And while part of me wants to spend the day in bed under the covers, tonight I will be attending the world premiere of a Requiem for the New World, a piece commissioned by Trinity Episcopal Church here in Fort Worth. It is unusual in that it is in Spanish. The young composer, Nico Gutierrez, sang in the Trinity choir when he attended TCU.
Tonight's Requiem is part of the All Souls Day liturgy. It will be presented again on Sunday as a concert. They are making a recording of it, which is good, because I believe all the tickets for both evenings are gone.
Music was such an important part of our life together, and I find it unfair that I can barely listen to music any more without it laying waste to my emotions. I have no defenses against lovely music. Whether I make it through this entire evening remains to be seen.
But still, I am trying, my love. I am trying. I am trying, as the poem below says,
to do what you would have wanted, to give what's left of you away.
By Merrit Malloy
When I die
Give what’s left of me away
And old men that wait to die.
And if you need to cry,
Cry for your brother
Walking the street beside you.
And when you need me,
Put your arms
And give them
What you need to give to me.
I want to leave you something,
Look for me
In the people I’ve known
And if you cannot give me away,
At least let me live on in your eyes
And not your mind.
You can love me most
Hands touch hands,
By letting bodies touch bodies,
And by letting go
That need to be free.
Love doesn’t die,
So, when all that’s left of me
Give me away.