The main background music is written and performed by Billy and Sarah Gaines a couple that we have listened to and enjoyed for many decades. They haven’t traveled in concert for many years but we have always loved their music so I had to use it in the video since it said what I wanted to say. The second duet is performed Johnny Mathis and Dionne Warwick. “Friends in Love” was used in my original 10th anniversary video 30 years ago because, it said what I wanted to say then, but it included music and was performed by Johnny Mathis, Jo’s favorite artist.
In 1973 our wedding was “filmed” just like a movie. At that time, I worked in the film industry at channel 9 in Orlando so I purchased several rolls of news film and a friend helped me shoot and produce our wedding on 16mm film with magnetic audio shot right after the real wedding ceremony. I still have the film but there are no projectors alive that can actually play the original film. I only wish I could find one of those.
This year is year 43 for us. As I watched the video tonight to make sure it was ready to release again, for the first time I saw things that I’ve never really seen before, even though I’ve seen every frame of our wedding and this video many times before. I know each note of the music, each inflection of the performers, each graphic move and animation. I memorized every element on every frame of this production as I put it together 3 years ago.
But this time is different. As I watched tonight I noticed how young we really were, 20 and 19, Jo is older. I noticed that we smiled a lot at each other and everyone else during our wedding and honeymoon. I noticed that we touched a lot; I noticed just how much fun we had starting life together. I noticed that we were thinner and our hair was dark. I remember that we were looking ahead to the future, we were ready to experience life in a new way, ready to grab life by the tail and work hard to transform our dreams into real life stuff, and help others along the way.
Even though our wedding was stressful we’ve always looked back on it as the happiest day in our lives. During the wedding our Pastor, Gene Nicholson, told us that “we didn’t have a clue what love was yet” but that, “it would grow and get even better than what we felt that moment” on our happy wedding day.
Now, 43 years later, I sit and reflect on our marriage, our life together. For the very first time I’m looking back in life. I realize that most of our life is behind us, not ahead. I realize that we have peaked in every way. Not that the rest of life is a bummer at all but I just realized that life is really changing yet again as we get older. I realized that we’re not 20 years old anymore, we can’t do now what we did then. We can’t work as hard or play as hard or even love like we used to so many years ago.
I realize that Pastor Gene was right, we had no clue then what love was all about.
Love is about living life one day at a time. Love is about losing a child and surviving without destroying ourselves. Love is about building a house together and losing it. Love is about illnesses, bills, discourse, sadness, aggravation, depression, emotional and financial upheaval …. and surviving through all those things, together. Life would have really sucked to have had to survive it without my mate, my love, my strength, my best friend.
As I sit here I’ve asked myself the age-old question, “would I do it all over again?” The simple answer is “yes”, without reservation.
But, if I knew then what I know now I might have planned a little better, I might have saved a little more, I might have worked a little less and been home a little more.
I would have brought home more flowers, and I would have planned vacations a little better, and budgeted dollars a little closer, but not too much. The fact is, we have had a pretty good and full life mostly free of consternation and strife, and that I would rather be positive about the future, than complain about the past.
I’m just glad we have recorded our trip through life together in pictures and videos and now I’m going to spend a lot of time compiling and editing our life together in case either of us needs it to remember who we once were. That’s my next project as we start reducing our life’s footprint to enable us the freedom to travel more and enjoy the rest of our lives together.