Monday, October 22, 2012

A love story.

My college buddy "Farmer" got hitched over the weekend.  For the second time since we graduated college seven years ago, and hopefully it goes better for him this time around.  One of their friends did an email call out to all wedding invitees to pull together a collection of love stories to be put into a book.  I waited until the very last minute before the deadline to do mine (of course).  I wanted to write about Tom.  And I wanted it to be healing and liberating.  I'm not sure I captured what I was going for, or that it was either of those things, but it's a start.


I think of Heaven as a queue of souls, with God handing out assignments.  When you’ve completed your time on Earth, you get back in line for another round, creating a never ending process in which time in this world isn’t necessarily chronological.  You could be assigned another life decades or centuries before or after the one you’re living now.  And I believe that there are people you meet in each life time that have a special connection on a higher level – a soul mate one might say, but not in a “you’re the only one for me for all of eternity” lovey-dovey way; more so in a deep, meaningful, sub-conscious level where two people have been brought together for a specific reason, be it love or a life lesson.
So back to our queue of souls…  To the next in line God says, “You won’t live long for the standards of the day.  You’ll be the baby of the family and your smile and laughter will crack even the most unpleasant of relatives.  You’ll lose your father before you are ten years old.  You’ll meet a woman in college who will become the center of your world.  You’ll marry her, and for about 20 years things will be great.  She’ll come to be unfaithful for the last 5 years of your marriage, and things won’t be fun – at all – until she leaves and you heal your mortal heart.  Soon enough though, you’ll meet another woman, 20 years your younger, who will show you what it is to be loved again.  And six weeks after that meeting, at the height of your most recent happiness – a fatal heart attack.  That may sound harsh, but you’ll be the kind of guy that leaves the party when you’re having the most fun.  What do you say?”  And to that, Tom Evans says, “Sign me up.”
A few more assignments are doled out, and God pitches the next: “You’ll start with a younger brother who you won’t appreciate until you move out of the house; you’ll ease your way through high school, only to find you don’t really know how to study when you get to college.  You’ll be a bit awkward and kind of chubby throughout your teenage years and well into your twenties, but will really come into your own when you discover the sport of rowing.  Through the friends you make there, you’ll meet a man with whom you’ll love immediately and fully, which will undoubtedly take you by surprise.  You’ll only have a short time with him, because six weeks after your meeting, his time will be up and you’ll be left with a lot of unanswered questions.  You’ll be ok though, and you’ll make some good strides in life and love because of it.  And then – actually I’m going to let the rest be a surprise.  Sound good?”   Yes.  Definitely, yes.
And that’s pretty much how it happened…   At the art opening of a mutual friend Tom & Jeny met, flirted, drank (too much) and spent their first night together.  Two days later, he made her dinner and they talked and laughed late into the night.  Before she left, Jeny said, “I don’t know what this is, and I don’t know what I want it to be, but I love hanging out with you” which sent Tom soaring.  The courtship continued, and friends immediately saw what was less obvious to the two of them: simple, pure love; two people who were exactly what the other needed at that time and place in the universe.