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“Come Rain or Come Shine”

I’m gonna love you, like nobody’s loved you
Come rain or come shine
High as a mountain, deep as a river
Come rain or come shine
I guess when you met me
It was just one of those things
But don’t you ever bet me
‘Cause I’m gonna be true if you let me
You’re gonna love me, like nobody’s loved me
Come rain or come shine
We’ll be happy together, unhappy together
Now won’t that be just fine
The days may be cloudy or sunny
We’re in or out of the money
But I’m with you always
I’m with you rain or shine.

The lyrics to this slow-moving declaration of love has moved hearts when sung by talents like Frank Sinatra, Billie Holliday, Barbara Streisland, and others. The repetition clarifies the intensity and veracity of the commitment to someone. Published in 1946, after World War II, when couples were looking for lasting marriages, it became popular. Dancing to it played by the Tommy Dorsey Band would have moved married couples to believe again that their marriage could/should/would work.

My parents were married on October 29, 1946. After moving to Spartanburg in 1951, they joined the Quadrille Club. Along with other young couples, they dressed for a party in flowing long dresses and tuxedos to dance the night away. A Christmas dance and spring dance gave them opportunities for ballroom dancing with friends. Jitterbug, the dance of teens during this era, was not on the agenda. The caller for the dances, with the solemn “Ladies and Gentlemen” and then in exciting tones, introduced the fox trot, the waltz, and the cha cha.

Grace and elegance were part of these dances, and the above clip captures that.

Yesterday I started reading Jan Karon’s newest Father Tim novel called Come Rain or Come Shine.

This talented author, through the course of ten novels, has introduced us to the town of Mitford, North Carolina. Jan lives in Blowing Rock, NC where she retired from the advertising field at age 50. Her first Mitford novel, At Home in Mitford, was published in installments in the local paper. (You might remember that Charles Dickens had his first success in the literary world in this manner.)

Though Southern small town in setting, these character-driven novels deal with realism in the lives of children and adults. Each book holds a surprise for the reader, as a tragic side of life is explored. But entwined is hilarity in tone, dialogue, and circumstance. One of the funniest scenes to me is the wedding of stodgy, middle-aged bachelor Tim Kavanagh and his artist/writer/vivacious neighbor Cynthia Coppersmith. On their wedding day, dressed in her dowdy and well-worn bathrobe, the bride is locked into her bathroom when the handle of the door falls off. I could picture this crazy scene and laughed hilariously.

Two young people, adopted by couples with open hearts, as well as the law, Dooley Kavanagh and Lace Harper, are finally getting married in this latest story about a community that truly acts like an extended family. Mitford’s characters come alive once again as a simple home wedding expands into a town event. I laughed aloud several times yesterday and didn’t want to put it down, once again enjoying Jan Karon’s voice that states without interpretation that life is life. (Believe I might have to complete the reading today.)

The lyrics to this song enhance the turmoil in the book as this young couple move forward to their wedding day. Lack of money, a surprise selling of art, both clouds and sun in weather and circumstances, and a pot-luck wedding reception give credence that marriage is a time of “come rain or come shine.”

One of the quotes that Jan Karon shared that I read several times is good advice to help us live better as a couple, a family, or community.

“Stop trying to protect, to rescue, to judge, to manage the lives around you . . . remember that the lives of others are not your business. They are their business. They are God’s business—even your own life is not your business. It is also God’s business!’ Frederick Buechner”

As always, in my reading, I am reminded of truth, even from the imaginary town of Mitford.


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