Today marks 5 years since my first date with Tony. October 22, 2006, is a day I will never forget; it's a day where my life began to change forever, for good, for very good. It's the day I met my "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
Now I'm not one for sappy titles and cliches. But I must admit that this song truly did begin the love story later to be known as Tony and Melissa Edge. The day before our date, I was volunteering at a fall festival with some of my closest friends...friends I had yet to tell about my plans with Tony the next day! I distinctly recall finally working up the courage to tell them, and this version of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was playing in the background. No joke.
The very next day, Tony and I met for the early service at North Point before we headed to what was to be our "date." As we drove out of the parking lot, Tony turned to me and said he wanted to play one of his favorite songs for me...yes, it was this same version of the exact same song.
Beautiful timing. Beautiful song.
It soon became one of "our" songs. Tony danced to it with his mom at our wedding; it was one of her favorites too. For our 6 month dating anniversary, I made him a CD of all our favorite songs together. This song was the head-liner and the title of the CD - "My Somewhere Over the Rainbow."
As most girls do, I grew up dreaming of the man I would marry, a man set apart by God just for me. I waited for what seemed like eternity to me (not really as I look back) for this gift to walk into my life, sweep me off my feet, and make my dream of marriage come true.
And it did. Tony was my dream of a husband come true. He was more than I could have ever asked for or imagined. I remember telling him early on that his amazing blue eyes reminded me of those blue birds in the song...deep, dreamy blue. And, in his arms, I felt as if the troubles of this world, no matter how dark or hard, would melt away.
I honestly have not been able to listen to this song since Tony's passing. It was just too hard to think about my "somewhere," my "lullaby, " my "dream come true" to be no more. It made the song seem so cruel, so unfair. My blue bird flew away, my troubles hardened like stale lemon drops, my rainbow couldn't be seen for the clouds of grief and sadness. Why oh why, God, why oh why?
The song came to mind today as I was looking through some pictures of Tony and I while we were dating. I put on my big girl pants and played the song on my iPod on my drive home from my parents. I began to get teary as I turned past Chateau Elan, the very place Tony proposed to me on the 18th hole. But I quickly became intrigued by the stunning hues of the sky at dusk - ruby red, burnt orange, and a hint of deep ocean blue.
There before me was my rainbow, set horizontally along the tree-lined corridor of Interstate 85. No, it wasn't a true rainbow, no one else would have pictured it the same way. It looked different, yet it was beautiful in its own way. It was a rainbow just for me, a rainbow to represent my new dreams to come after the clouds of grief and sadness pass.
It was in that hour's drive home that I reflected on the fact that I am not in control of my "somewhere" on this earth. Though I dream, and dream big, it is God who makes my dreams come true, He is my Dream-Maker, my Dream-Giver. He is my perfect Creator. He is the one who makes the rainbows; He allows them to appear and fade away, in His timing, in His very perfect timing, after the storms, after the rain, after a long season of drought, after what seems like a long time to dream, and sometimes after it seems impossible for another rainbow to break through.
My somewhere with my Tony on this earth may have lasted but a few years; yet the vibrancy of it's rainbow has impacted my life for eternity.