The Art of Life

manuelluz4.jpgThe other day, my eight year old twin daughters pulled out some of our family photo albums and started pointing and giggling. This, of course, is a child’s open invitation for their parents to join them, so I did.

The albums they pulled out were of the first few years of our marriage—honeymoon photos, birth photos, pictures of Eric and Justin as toddlers. Debbie holding our oldest son for the first time, our tiny little first home with the dusty rose-colored walls, sitting in the living room playing with Duplos and Jurassic Park toys. We laughed and laughed as the images washed waves of emotion over me.

Every so often, I would pause and stare at the ambitious young lad who looks vaguely like me, and the beautiful young lass who looks vaguely like my wife.

Debbie and I are celebrating our twenty year anniversary early next month. Twenty years of memories. Twenty years of struggle and success, disappointment and striving, sickness and health, tears and laughter, sadness and joy. It seems as if I blinked a few times and suddenly here we are—four kids, three cars, two guinea pigs and one dog.

And I am reminded once again that life is not a science—life is an art. Time is the canvas. The brushstrokes of life are the decisions we make, the actions we take, the roles we live out. We paint not only our story, but also the memories of them. Debbie and I have had a blessed life, but it certainly hasn’t been without difficulty. In the striving, in the uncertainty, in the act and art of living, we managed to paint a beautiful story of a life lived together.

I can honestly say that every day, I love my wife more than the day before. In my mind, she grows more beautiful with each passing season. And I know that with each passing chapter of the story that is our life together, there are no guarantees. That is the nature of art. But I do know that, even after twenty years, the paint is still wet, and the portrait isn’t finished.

Here’s the lyrics to a song I wrote for Debbie on our anniversary. It appears on my just-released album, All There Is.

TWENTY © 2007

Twenty summers, twenty springs
Twenty roses that I bring
Twenty promises, twenty rings
Twenty love songs that I sing

It’s like I first fell for you
We’re holding hands while the world keeps spinning
I’ll spend a lifetime with you
And that is more than a man could ask for…

Twenty winters, twenty falls
Twenty answers to my call
Twenty pictures hang in twenty halls
Twenty memories on the walls

It’s like I first fell for you
Just hold on tight while the world keeps spinning
Don’t you wish it were true
But this life keeps on turning, turning
Not like the dreams that we knew
Life is trials and tears and cloudy skies
Still I’ll spend it with you
We’ll take one day at a time, and see it through…

Twenty oceans, twenty seas
How deep is the love of you and me
Twenty summers, twenty springs
Twenty love songs that I sing

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