There is a song written and sung by Alan Jackson that moves me, and, depending on my emotions of the day, might bring me to tears. It’s titled “Remember When.”
He is singing to his wife, but he may as well have modeled those verses on our marriage. He doesn’t know us, but he was amazingly spot on in relating our married life.
“Remember when I was young and so were you….” Yes, we started off young. Now I see college and post-college-age people and I realize how very young and innocent we were.
Everything we knew was based on “today,” being together and making plans for tomorrow. Not all of our tomorrows, for we didn’t know what the future would bring. Life was simple. Our first years, as I look back now, were as if “… time stood still, and love was all we knew…”
It began with the vows that we wrote ourselves, when we “… gave our hearts, made the start…” They included promises that got us through the hard times — “…we lived and learned, (as) life threw curves…”
“There was hurt...remember when old ones died…” Sometimes those hard, hurtful times were external, like when our parents passed on or our children were ill. Now and then difficulties arose from internal, just-between-us problems. “We came together, fell apart, and broke each other’s hearts…”
The pain was mostly from communication issues and misunderstandings. As I remember, a lot of that was assuming he knew what I wanted or thought (and vice-versa) and perhaps because we didn’t talk through our struggles. Yet, somehow, we always “brought back the love…” We stayed committed.
“There was joy… (remember when) new were born.” There was delight when our sons were born, and many days of laughter through the years of their raising. “Remember the sound of little feet… And life was changed, disassembled, rearranged…”
As any parent can attest, our lives were rearranged to absorb the two little boys, and constantly readjusted with the different phases of their lives.
Each time we moved, crisscrossing South Dakota, then on to Pennsylvania, New York and finally Alabama, our lives were disassembled and put back together. Each job transfer caused a different kind of pressure — for our own adjustments, and also to ensure that our boys fit in to their new environments.
We’ve learned while we aged. “Remember when thirty seemed so old...” (not so anymore from the other side of 60). “…(L)ookin’ back it’s just a stepping-stone, to where we are, where we’ve been.” Yes, we’d do it all again, with a little more wisdom and patience knowing what we learned through the years.
Along the way, “…we turned grey…” and the children grew up. We were sad, and we were glad “for all the life we’ve had.”
There have been few other songs that so amazingly describe our life together. Alan Jackson’s song will always be at the top of the list. And we’ll always… “Remember when”!
Susan Anderson lives in Opelika with her husband. Contact her at email@example.com.