From off her silken hand she slipped her glove;
To his elation, there he found no ring.
He courted her, and amity took wing;
Then by and by their friendship turned to love.
They married, and she bore him children four;
She cared for them, and did not him neglect,
For nothing could between them interject;
In him complete—she wanted nothing more.
For God’s the secret of their wedded bliss—
The third strand of the cord that firmly binds,
The anchor and the Rock their union finds
To be a shelter when life runs amiss.
A perfect marriage is a trinity—
God plus man and woman add to three.
After the morning service, we went out to eat with several of the church members, then we all retired to the home of the Zartmans for fellowship in lieu of the evening service. We talked quite a bit, ate even more—including a second birthday party—and played Skip Bo, a new game for some of them.
Mrs. Zartman had shown Mary and me a book that their children had made for them which contained photos and captions that told the story of their many years together on various mission fields. It was wonderful to see, and joy exuded from Mrs. Zartman as she relived the memories in the sharing of their story.
At one point, Mary and I sat together on the sofa and listened to Don Tomás go through the same book with one of the church members. They spoke in Spanish the entire time, and I quietly translated the conversation for Mary, surprising even myself at what I was able to remember of the language. I had struggled all week to keep up with conversations. Once I was fluent, but after years of not using the language outside the classroom, I forgot a lot of what I used to know. But perhaps I understood Don Tomás better because he, like me, speaks Spanish as a second language.
Both the first time I met the Zartmans and this time, when we had the joy to reconnect, I saw a steady, constant love between the two of them. Do they ever disagree? Of course, they do. But they are partners, soul mates, and it shows. When Don Tomás finished going through the book, Mary got up and did something else for a while, and I wrote the poem you see above. In fact, I wrote most of the poems featured here while I was still in Mexico. The early morning and late evening were good times for that.
“Wedded Bliss” (English Sonnet) Copyright © 2019 Angela Umphers Rueger – All Rights Reserved