Tonight while praying and pondering the life I desire, the words to a children’s hymn came to mind. The song is “Love is Spoken Here”, and is sung in two parts, one verse by the girls, another by the boys. A particular phrase I said as I was praying brought the boy’s verse to mind. I had to go look up the words, as it has been perhaps decades since I have sung it myself.
Yet again, my heart broke, as I read those lyrics. Breaking because of what I lack; and words in many ways embody all that I hope and desire for in this life. It also describes a life I don’t understand, one that I have only caught a few tiny moments of, and a few glimpses in observing others. But I wonder, is it all just — as I’ve often said – “a Mormon fairy tale”? Is this life of father and mother kneeling to pray, and together leading the way, and a home filled with love something that can be obtained? I’m not talking about a life free of problems, a marriage completely harmonious, a family where there is no conflict or occasional chaos. But the way I’ve always felt when singing or hearing that song, the way I’ve felt when I’ve been in those homes when I’ve caught that glimpse of heaven, I wonder — is this a potential reality for me?
Mine is a home where ev’ry hour is blessed by the strength of priesthood power
With father and mother leading the way
Teaching me how to trust and obey
This isn’t a life of some patriarchal dominance that it could be seen, when you read “strength of priesthood power”. This is a home of a loving, righteous father and mother, with a worthy father leading the way, taking care of the family in all ways — but only with his wife and partner right by his side. The strength that comes from the integrity of that man in his home, with the partnership of his wife, is what guides the home. Together, they teach their children, in love, how to make the choices to live a life of goodness and love.
To me, this leads me to question. Right now, with my life’s circumstances, I’m struggling to even take care of just myself — physically, emotionally, financially. I’ve seen the quiet, loving responsibility, focus, and care of many of my male friends and family around my age, as they with their spouses raise their families, I am daunted. I wonder how they do it. My heart caves under the thoughts of that responsibility. But as I see the tenderness of my brother, my cousin, or some of my good friends with their child, or as I hear the care, and the love, and the emotion when they talk about their sons and their daughters, it truly is all my heart desires.
This becomes even more so daunting, as I think of the wonderful relationships they have with their spouses. The kindness, love, honor, and service they give these wonderful women in their lives. As my relationship with my wife and partner has ended, my heart grows heavy as I think of the depth of these feelings and these desires we once had. Again, I question, is life of “father and mother leading the way” even a possibility for me?
And the things they speak are crystal clear.
When love is spoken here
In a home, where love is taught, but also demonstrated and lived, the lessons of life and goodness are crystal clear. There is no confusion. No hypocrisy or duality. When this is what you’ve lived, seen, and felt; love is part of who you are. But when you’ve lost hope, are scared and confused, when you let the negativity of the world pound at your door — it all falls apart. You lose the ability to keep that love. When that love, peace, and crystal clear truth are part of your life, you move forward. But when that clarity is lost, and the pain enters, this becomes all just a fairy tale.
I think of some close friends of mine. When I visit their parents’ home, I am more comfortable and at peace than I have been almost anywhere. Sure, their lives are not perfect. My friends haven’t had smooth, perfect lives. But to see the lives they are living now, to see what they have carried on to their own homes, and on to their own families, I am overwhelmed and in awe. But I believe because of the strength of the love and the goodness of their parents, the examples of their home, it has lead to some of what I most think of when I speak of the “fairy tale”.
But I think, is it real? Can this quiet, hand-in-hand partnership exist? Can it last and weather the storms of life? And, ultimately, can I live the life of love, and together with my partner raise a family of joy and love? I ache and pine for this and wonder, can I become and live this in the circumstances and time I may have left? Or is it lost to me, as I grew overwhelmed in life, in death, and in love?