As more of my friends took the class, got to know Wayne-o, or both, we all looked forward to the occasions that he would read poetry. Many other classes that occurred in the chapel were put on hold on Friday mornings as the fans of Friday poems crowded into the classroom for the minutes that the poems were shared. Other professors may have been frustrated at the delay of the start of their class, but sometimes they joined us in listening to the Friday poem.
Wayne became a role model to many in my circle of friends. For the guys who got to know Wayne through Sigma Theta Epsilon, he was a brother. To those whom he advised, he was a mentor. To those who ever shared a meal or conversation with, he was a friend. To those who attended his church, he was a minister. For many, he was all of these things and more. One unique role he and his wife shared was a model for a healthy marriage. Wayne and Fern were so in love with one another, and it permeated all aspects of their lives.
When it came time for my husband and I to get married, I knew that this man had to be a part of our day. I asked him very simply to bless the meal at our reception, but what he chose blessed us so much more. Very true to Wayne's character, he read a poem as a blessing of our marriage. I could hardly contain my emotions. I didn't know whether to laugh, cry, or do both at the same time. It was the perfect addition to an exciting day. The day came and went, as did the night, and my new husband and I sat opening presents with our families. We came to a small gift, and immediately I knew it was a book. We opened the gift and it was Garrison Keillor's Good Poems. It had to be from the Wayne and Fern. I opened the book, and there was Wayne's familiar handwriting... it suggested a poem to start with and a poem to end with. I wished at that moment that I could just cuddle up in the new quilt (from Garrett's great-aunt) with my new husband and read poems. Arriving at our honeymoon destination, we had an evening to relax and just be. I took Good Poems out of my carry-on bag and shared page 173 with my husband. I don't even know if he remembers... but it was a time I treasured. We (my husband and I) are at a point where we are seeking more connection with each other. The honeymoon (and the 7-ish months following it) is over and we're settling in to life with one another. The thing is that neither of us want to "settle in." We are both seeking way to allow our love to grow and evolve each new day.
A few days ago, I was having a conversation with a friend of mine, and he asked me how I was. I told him that I felt my life was too shallow. I didn't know that I would be faced with that feeling again less than a week after our conversation. I woke up this morning, and just feel the urge to be more primitive. I had no desire at all to watch the morning news or turn on my computer. Even looking at the clock made me feel too technological. I knew that I need some time with poetry to settle my mind and my soul. I lounged for a bit (with a big glass of milk... my new favorite morning beverage to savor) with Good Poems and just took in the words. Poem after poem I read and with each stanza I felt a little more peace within me.
I knew this was a small part of a solution to our marriage desires. We want to grow closer and to find ways to recreate that honeymoon moment and just "be." We hope to now share poetry together, each Friday morning, like all the Friday's mornings previous.