The Heart of Life

My church is putting on a Broadway sampler this weekend and since no one should be put through the torture of watching me sing and dance I was asked to shoot a few photos for the slide show. The assignment was simple: husbands kissing their wives on the cheek.

I traipsed through my neighborhood, camera slung around my neck, searching for willing victims. But I was sobered as I ambled around the block gazing on the homes of my friends– nearly every other house held a single man or woman: widowed, divorced, widowed, widowed, divorced, divorced, divorced, widowed.

I did, of course, get the needed photos and drove to Office Max for CD cases and labels. Bewildered by the many choices in the CD aisle I stood staring blankly when I heard my name called. It was a running friend that I now only saw in passing as we prowled down the same dark, early morning streets. As we caught up, I asked about her husband. Her face fell, “We’re divorced. It was final 6 months ago.”

She had in fact, been standing in Office Max nearly a year ago when she found out her husband wasn’t on a business trip like he’d claimed, but was in Hawaii with his girlfriend. I now saw how tired and worn she appeared. “I thought my life was perfect. And then it all crashed down on me.”

Sadder still, he hasn’t even called his 3 teenagers in the past 6 months. They feel completely rejected and abandoned. I can scarcely imagine the weight rebuilding my life and carrying my own grief and that of my children’s through those months…..years.

I cried all the way home. Sorry for her, sorry for all my friends walking through life alone.

All of us know that our life can change in a moment: a car crash, a dr.’s diagnosis, losing a job, losing a child. And especially in the time of economic crisis I feel the anxiety in the air. I feel a bit guilty about my shiny, happy life– taking pretty pictures, playing with my kids and writing stories.

So much sadness fills the world that I often feel overwhelmed, but cute Ben found a new song for me this weekend ( I tell you, these 16 year olds are useful people) that echoes what I truly believe– despite the sorrows and heartache all around us– “I know the heart of life is good.”

I know it’s good.



  1. Annie

    October 9, 2008

    Tender, true post.

    Love those kissing shots. That one on the porch with the young couple and the baby looking straight at the camera? Pure magic.

  2. Blue

    October 9, 2008

    TOTALLY gorgeous!

  3. duchess

    October 10, 2008

    Such sweet pictures. I can feel the love coming thru loud & clear.

  4. Denise

    October 10, 2008

    Good thoughts, and of course I love John Mayer.

    I was in the temple last night. It’s amazing to me, that to get there, I have to walk through such a loud, dirty city — but once inside can neither see nor hear the vestiges of the world outside. I believe that marriage, for many, is a similar refuge. My heart feels sad when I hear stories about those for whom the opposite is true. But then, I know there’s always hope because there’s always room for more love.

  5. twoelves

    October 10, 2008

    Love this post and love love love those first two kissing shots. Priceless!

  6. Chelle

    October 10, 2008

    Ah, tears from this post.

    Will you give Ben a hug from me? I’d never heard this song before and I’m in love.

  7. Catherine Hess

    October 10, 2008

    Thank you for your beautiful post. My heart aches for all those good people I know who are torn inside from loss. However, I am a thousand times more happy when I see husbands and wives who love and are sweet to each other and who are making strong families. I listened to the song while looking at your pictures and it made me feel so glad. Thanks!

  8. katherine

    October 11, 2008

    I saw them in the slide show they were great!

  9. Dave's World

    October 12, 2008

    I hope you went to the play. The rollerbladers were amazing. One of them was so hot!!!

    Your pictures were great. And the play was really fun to watch.

  10. Linn

    October 13, 2008

    This is beautiful.

  11. jennie w.

    October 16, 2008

    Our three best couple friends have all gotten divorced in the last 18 months. Do we jinx eveyone, or is the world just going crazy?

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