Sunrise, Sunset

To make this first part a bit more understandable, You Tube the video of the title above and watch the scene from the movie/play from where it came as you read.

Debbie: “Is this the little girl I carried?”

Paul: “Is this the little boy at play?”

Debbie, Elliot, Sally, Paul: “We don’t remember growing older, when…did…they?

Elliot: “When did she get to be a beauty?”

Sally: “When did he get to be so tall?”

All Four: “Wasn’t it yesterday when they…were…small?”

All four: “Sunrise, Sunset…Sunrise, Sunset…Swiftly flow the days,

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, Blossoming even as we gaze.

Sunrise, Sunset…Sunrise, Sunset…Swiftly fly the years,

One season following another, laden with happiness and fears.”

Sally and Paul: “Now is the little boy a bridegroom.”

Debbie and Elliott: “Now is the little girl a bride.”

Debbie: “Under the canopy we see them, side…by…side”

Elliott: “Bless the gold rings around their fingers.”

Sally: “Share the sweet wine and bread per glass.”

Paul: “Soon the whole circle will have come…to…pass.

All Four:

“Sunrise, Sunset…Sunrise, Sunset…Swiftly flow the days,

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, Blossoming even as we gaze.

Sunrise, Sunset…Sunrise, Sunset…Swiftly fly the years,

One season following another, laden with happiness and fears.”

Paul: “What words of wisdom can I give them?” (See Below)

Elliott: “How can I help to ease their way?”

Sally: “Now they must learn from one another, day…by…day.”

Debbie: “They look so natural together, just like two newlyweds should be.”

All Four: “Please let these children live life hap…pi…ly.”

All Four: “Sunrise, Sunset…Sunrise, Sunset…Swiftly flow the days,

Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers, Blossoming even as we gaze.

Sunrise, Sunset…Sunrise, Sunset…Swiftly fly the years,

One season following another, laden with happiness and fears.”

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Having taken a couple liberties from, and with appreciation and full credit to, Composer Jerry Bock, and especially Lyricist Sheldon Harnick, the slightly bit of a rewrite of the song above (which came from the Broadway play and United Artist movie, Fiddler on the Roof), today are extremely meaningful to Sally and me, and Elliot and Debbie Sledz, as we excitedly ponder the upcoming wedding of our son and their daughter.

In answer to one of my questions from the lyrics, I guess I want you two, Jon and Erica, to know what is, and will be, going through the minds and hearts of all four of us, right now, as it also went through our minds when your siblings began lives together with their spouses. I think the words of this song from Fiddler says what we will be singing in our own minds and hearts, and what we will be thinking on the day you two say, before God, family, friends, and each other, that you will commit yourselves to each other as husband and wife.

I think every parent sits in the front row at their children’s wedding and looks at the backs of the heads of their now adult children, and sees photo album-like mental pictures of each of them, first as an infant, then a young child, and then, as the ceremony progresses, we see that flashback video in our minds fast-forward to the two of you, now grasping each other’s hand in the presence of one another and those gathered to witnesses your commitment in marriage.

There are so many specific things we’d like to tell you about what we think your life will be like after you say the final “I do” to one another, but you’ll need to experience all that yourselves. However, as you’ve learned by now, we do, and always will, have advice to share based on our experiences, and you need to know that we will always wonder and worry about you two no matter what.

Not specifically, we want to tell you that there will be happy times, sad times, fearful times, exciting times, and rewarding times. There will be times you’ll always cherish, and times you’ll wish you could forget. We want you to know there will be laughter, tears, anticipation, disappointments, hugs, kisses, shouts, silence, ups, downs, ins, and outs, but they’re all part of the journey of love for, and with, each other. The key (and this is often easier said than done) is staying the course, staying on the road of your journey, enjoying the days of traveling the smooth sections of the highway of marriage, and together facing the challenges and discomfort of those sections of the road marked with potholes, some of them unseen. It will take much shared driving by both of you, but, taking part of a line from Spencer Tracy’s soliloquy in the movie Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, ” … knowing what you two are, and knowing what you two feel …,” all four of us are confident that you’ll have a long, long journey as husband and wife. Always remember that there’s no destination in this journey that you’re about to begin. Your lives and your love for each other can, and will, be infinite, if you let it. A destination means that the journey has an end. I think your parents, Erica, and I know your mother and I, Jon, hope and pray that our own journeys last forever and beyond, and I also know we all wish that for you two as well.

We want you to know that someday, if you are blessed with children of your own, that you’ll be sitting in the front row at their wedding wondering where the years went from the time they were young children, your mind playing the same flashback video of them, and you pondering when exactly it was when they reached this point in their lives. You’ll wonder, too, what their lives will be like as husband and wife, and you’ll want to tell them these same things we’re telling you now.

So come August twenty-fifth of this year, 2018, as you stand in front of all of us, and share your commitment with your Maker, us, and especially each other, know that your four parents will repeatedly be replaying that flashback video, from childhood, to where you are that very moment you make your promise to each other, and we’ll be looking above your heads in wonderment imagining your future, ever hopeful and also confident, that you’ll face the rest of your lives as best friends and lovers.

May God give you the strength and courage to persevere if times get tough, and the wisdom to make good decisions for the benefit of each other, and the two of you, as husband and wife. May you look to God when you’re in need of patience. May He grant you inner fortitude, even if you may not think there is any, and may He give you compassion to show your partner when he/she needs it most. May you each be given the insight to accept blame when something may be your fault, or even not. May you be blessed with absorbent shoulders for each other to cry on, and strong muscles to hold each other up when either, or both, of you needs to lean on the other. May there always be food on your table, drink in your glass, and never ending love in your hearts.

Be good to each other. Remember, little things are called “little” for a reason. Respect each other. Honor bathroom protocol, (seat, rinse shower after use, replace the roll). Pick up after yourselves so the other doesn’t have to. Be friends with each other. Like, as well as love, each other. Be kind to each other. Be encouraging to each other. Be appreciative of each other. Be forgiving to each other. Hug each other often. Laugh together, cry together, work together, play together, but most importantly, LOVE each other unceasingly and unconditionally, and always know that we will all be there if you need us for anything, all you have to do is call.

Today, as you read this, and this coming August, when you say “I do” to each other, and every single day after that, please know that the four of us are so very proud of both of you and we love you very much.

Congratulations, Jon and Erica! God be with you both, forever.