On Friday, my friend brought over a bucket of heart rocks.
Just nature’s way of saying I love you.
I washed them and cleaned them and sang to them and thought up clever heart sayings and made the coolest, easiest Valentine’s Day present from them that I’ll share with you on Thursday.
Maybe it was the hidden I love you in every stone.
Maybe it was the entire rock heart collection.
Maybe it was February knocking at my door.
But it reminded me of a story.
One I’ve shared before, but I wanted to share it again…
….with a little twist from the heart.
When we renewed our vows, I stood in front of God and everyone in a tiny chapel with beautiful stained glass windows next to a big bouquet of hydrangea and evergreens and glittered twigs and stared up into a pair of twinkling brown eyes….
…and told my husband I loved him all over again.
It was all so similar.
It was the same church.
The same minister.
The same time.
The same date.
The same twinkling eyes smiling at me when I walked down the aisle.
The same feeling like I was the luckiest girl in the world.
All so very amazingly, wonderfully the same…
….except for one very different thing.
You see, all those years ago, I stood not-so-patiently behind the double doors of the church waiting for them to open.
Waiting for the walk down the aisle.
Waiting with breathless anticipation for the next exciting chapter in my life to begin.
And as I stood there on the precipice at the corner of “I can’t wait” and “I’m not sure about this”….
….I held tightly to the arm of the most wonderful man in the world.
He had been there through everything. All those growing up years. All the times I wrecked the car or was late for my curfew or rolled my eyes or sighed or cut super awkward bangs in my hair or told him I wanted to work at Dairy Queen for the rest of my life.
Every step of the way.
Every high…every low.
Every time I climbed higher, he celebrated. Every time I stumbled he was there to pick me up. And on that long ago day in front of the church doors with just my father and I standing there, those twinkling blue eyes of his smiled down at me once again….as if to say….
….you got this girl.
I know I’ve said this dozens of times, but I wish you could have met him.
I wish you could have met that incredible father of mine. He would have walked up to you across a crowed room wearing a hat kind of oddly tilted to one side with his shirt collar askew and his glasses perched on top of his shiny bald head and smiled. He would have asked you all about yourself and listened to your answers and made you laugh out loud…
…and with that laugh, you would feel like you were the most important person in the room.
He passed away almost nine years ago…
…and I still miss him every single day.
When my friend brought these rocks to me, she smiled sheepishly and said she wasn’t sure why…but she just felt like she should share her rock heart collection to me. As I opened up the lid and stared down at natures I love you, my heart skipped a beat.
You see…my father was a geologist.
He loved rocks.
Many was the time he would pull off to the side of the road and point out a sedimentary formation or the limestone or shale or layer upon layer of metamorphic rock. Staring at those rocks, the tears welled up and spilled over the edge of my lashes.
I saw my father’s twinkling blue eyes. I heard his laugh and I celebrated the hope and joy and love….
….in every line of those tiny rock hearts.
PS The story doesn’t end there.
It never does.
This weekend I gave the twins my old camera. This picture was taken by one of the twins of her sister photographing the outdoors at sunset.
A golden captured moment of joy and celebration of nature lives on in the next generation.
I know my father is smiling. 🙂