Monday, February 14, 2011

A Valentines Day Epitaph

The waters of Jordan have been stirring lately with the feet of the saints of my childhood. It seems like once (or twice) a month one of them is crossing over. I’ve saved this message for Valentine’s Day because it is so perfect for it.
My last post was about my cousin Doris who left us to be with Jesus. One month later her precious husband, Bud, pursued her to Heaven’s gates. How few youngin’s meet, marry, raise a family and traverse this life together, to the very end? What is it that keeps that spark kindled for decades? It might have been his beautiful eyes, his tanned skin, his spearmint breath (he always had a stick of gum for me), or his handsome head of Kouns hair, but I think it was the way that he cared for her as if his own life didn’t matter. He provided, he built, and he lived as if she was the only woman that existed. What woman could resist? She returned the favor. When times were hard she was as happy; when times were good she was happy. She was content with only him.
I don’t think that Doris was sitting (as in the song) on the “other side of Jordan”. I think Bud probably had to look for her. She only left a few weeks ago, and I’m sure she’s still making the rounds. I don’t think she even looked surprised as they stood there in their new light and perfection - she knew he would come as soon as he could.
My “little” cousin, Renee posted these lyrics by Heidi Newfield a few days before Bud died. This is a song about another beautiful romance, Johnny and June Carter Cash. It’s perfect for Bud and
Doris and all of you “lifers” out there.

I wanna love like Johnny and June,
Rings of fire burnin’ with you,
I wanna walk the line, walk the line,
‘Til the end of time,
I wanna love, love ya that much,
Cash it all in, give it all up,
When you’re gone, I wanna go too,
Just like Johnny and June

Here’s to your forever love Bud and Doris….and to mine. Happy 30th Valentine’s Day Mr. Rinke, you’re pretty awesome too.


  1. So beautiful. I thought about them all day yesterday. It was truly an honor and a blessing to have been able to witness the last half of their marriage. I was born in the middle and have no doubt they loved each other more on their last days than they did their first. In my head they will always be the definition of the word LOVE. - Renee

  2. KJ, once again you have brought tears of happiness to my eyes as I remember B&D. Thank you for your clarity of thought and sharing it through your gift of writing.
    love, rk

  3. The first part of my life I took it quite for granted, this love. I was very embarrassed to bring friends home after school only to find Mom sitting in Dad's lap. I was mortified!! The last part I sat up and noticed the difference between the rest of the world and the example that they showed. Their young preacher told us that they made a difference in his own marriage. He always looked forward to coming and watching the love between them. I think the difference was that they both had a "servant's" heart. And the first they served was each other. Thanks for remembering them!!!


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