Deanna: A Story of Love and Change
© 1997, 2017, All Rights Reserved
By Ken K. Gourdin
August 2-December 3
My Dear Wife-To-Be,
Words can’t even begin to express the smallest part of what I’m feeling right now. I love you for your courage—the courage you had to change. I know people who have faced much lesser spiritual challenges who have given up and simply died spiritually right where they stood. I’m glad you didn’t.
I love you for your understanding. You understand me when no one else can—and when no one else will. I love you for the light you have brought into my life—your eyes, which light up your face; your laughter, which “lights up” your voice; and your smile, which lights up a whole room when you’re in it.
Thank you for teaching me how to listen, not only with my ears, but with my heart, too. Thank you for teaching me to listen to what you say, but also to what you mean. Lake you for teaching me the many meanings of silence, and that sometimes, silence says more than words ever could
Thank you for being patient with me when I have made mistakes in our relationship, when I have sent out confusing signals and when I have misunderstood the signals you were trying to send to me. Thank you for being patient with me when I have given you logical, “left-brain” feedback when wat you wanted was emotional, “right brain” feedback.
They say that the best things in life are worth fighting for. We had to fight quite a battle to get what we have together, but we won!
The more you love someone, the harder it is to be away from them. I appreciate your willingness to make that sacrifice for the next little while. When it gets so hard you don’t think you can stand it anymore, just remember this: I’m yours!
Forever, and faithfully,
* * *
Jensen, Lopez to Wed
SALT LAKE – Eric Jensen and Deanna Lopez have chosen Friday, December 3 to be sealed in the Las Vegas, Nevada LDS Temple. Parents of the bride are Rodrigo and Bonita Lopez of Las Vegas. Parents of the groom are Ted and Carol Jensen of Salt Lake.
The groom is a recent graduate of Northern Utah University, where he majored in Business Management and minored in Spanish. The bride also attended Northern Utah University as well as Southern Nevada University, and is currently employed as a secretary at Apex Industries in Las Vegas.
The couple will make their home in Salt Lake City, where the groom is employed as a management trainee at TechnoWorld.
* * *
We chose a photo which was taken on the day I proposed to her with the Las Vegas Temple in the background, as the photo for our announcement:
Eric and Deanna
have chosen Friday, December 3
to be sealed for Time and for All Eternity
in the Las Vegas Temple.
Ted and Carol Jensen
and Rodrigo and Bonita Lopez
request the honor of your presence
at a reception to be held in their honor
at the home of the bride’s parents:
3692 Hermosa Vista Dr.
Las Vegas, Nevada.
An open house will also be held on Friday, Dec. 10
at the home of the groom’s parents
2520 East Shady Lane,
Salt Lake City, Utah
Eric y Deanna
Inseparable por Siempre.
* * *
The next few weeks involved the whirlwind of wedding preparations to any parent, any bride, and any groom who has ever taken part in a wedding. Plans for our wedding were somewhat complicated by the distance between us, but we weren’t the first husband-and-wife-to-be who had been separated by a long distance by most of our engagement, and we wouldn’t be the last.
Besides, our sadness at our parting when I left Las Vegas again was practically lost in the joyful anticipation of what was to come. There was a smile on my face which couldn’t be wiped off for anything, and all of our friends in Vegas noticed the new piece of jewelry on the third finger of Deanna’s left hand.
* * *
Do you ever feel like our relationship is deja vu?
Do I know you from sometime past
or someplace lost,
long gone, and almost forgotten?
Somewhere within the depths of my soul
stir the awakenings of Remembrance
of this time and place—
of a “when” long past, and a “where” long left.
But once remembered
neither time passed nor distance traveled
can dim these impressions strong.
And most of all
I remember YOU!
We became great friends then and there,
through endless time—though to us, time was not.
Do you remember, too?
Have you been waiting since we parted
for our Reunion?
Perish the thought that we’d ever been apart!
For, now, we’re together
And we have
* * *
I have a question for you.
How is it that you and I,
before we met,
were somehow incomplete,
How is it that we met,
And Became One,
In you, I’ve found that part of me
That makes me
But how did I ever live
at the first?
* * *
Have you ever thought about what it’s going to be like to grow old together?
SEASONS OF OUR CONTENT
like buds spring from seeds
and flowers spring from buds.
all the while, reaching
upward for the sun
capturing it not
but its essence
The Essence of Spring
The Spring of Our Content.
from seed to bud to flower
still reaching upward,
all the while
being tossed to and from
as we chased the wind,
capturing it not,
but its essence
The Essence of Summer,
The Summer of our Content.
We matured like trees
from young to youth to older
still reaching for the sun
and chasing the wind through our limbs
and growing as before
upward, ever upward.
Leaves fall all around us,
and ours will someday
Carpeting the ground in essence,
Essence of Autumn,
the Autumn of Our Content.
We age, grow older still,
our weary limbs brought low
to meet the earth from whence they came.
The wind is bitter now,
and the sun no longer lingers,
but still we remember reaching up,
and tossing to and fro
in pursuit of essences.
And still we grow, in winter
The Winter of our Content.
But though we die,
we blossom anew in yonder place,
like flowers whose seeds are scattered
by the wind.
There, we’ll capture more than essences
of wind and sun,
of spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
There we’ll blossom,
there we’ll grow
The Eternity of our content.
* * *
Since wedding preparations kept us so busy, the passing of the minutes, the hours, the days, the weeks, and the months that followed were hardly noticed—with the exception of Thanksgiving, which Deanna and I, and our families, celebrated with particularly grateful hearts, because we all had a reason to be especially grateful
And then, at last, The Day arrived. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it’s The Day That Parents Pray For; it’s The Day That Lovers Dream About; It’s the Day That Teachers Teach About; and it’s the direction that leaders try to lead the Church’s use: toward the Temple—Holy, Sacred, Beautiful, and Eternal.
That’s the direction our thoughts had been turned for some time now, but today, I would finally be able to keep my promise to Deanna to show it to her from the inside. I was awake early to anticipate and to appreciate the dawn of a beautiful day. Snow long since had covered the majestic peaks of the Wasatch Mountains back home, as well as many of the valleys below.
But there in Las Vegas, it was a clear, sunny, beautiful day, with a slight breeze that made the temperature pleasant. It was the kind of day only Heaven could send—and I knew that it was a Heaven-sent day, for more reasons than one. In a word, it was perfect. I suspected that even though we were apart, Deanna had enjoyed the dawn of this day with me.
As I got ready, I thought back to a day like this six months earlier. I had been awake long before dawn on that day, too, anticipating Our Reunion. But this time, the Reunion would be Forever.
Deanna had become my Best Friend, and I’d promised myself that that’s who I would marry. She’d come to mean more to me than life itself, because she was my life. At first in our relationship, I was the one who had been strong for her. But as she had discovered who she really was, she found that she was strong enough for me to lean on her, too, and that was a nice feeling. It was nice to know that we would be able to depend on each other like that—for eternity.
* * *
She was beautiful, more beautiful than I’d ever seen her before. It’s said that no matter what we look like as we get olde, our spouses always remember us the way we looked at the wedding. Now I knew why. I said she looked like an angel at our Reunion. Now, she almost was an angel—or at least as close as someone can get here on earth.
We kneeled at the altar in the sealing room and exchanged the promises which would bind us as husband and wife not just “’til death do us part,” but, “For Time and For All Eternity.” As we kneeled their, we received the keys which would eventually allow us to unlock our Eternal Destiny. And we didn’t just see endless reflections in a mirror: We actually saw Forever.
And it was beautiful.