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When the band stops to  play
and the music is all done,
When the story's nearly over
and we watch the setting sun.

When the heroes return home
and peace restored,
When all the birds have flown
and their cries are no more.

That's when you'll know,
you're in the epilogue.

When her love goes cold
and the days grow short.
When your hope is no more
and your dreams hit the floor.

When the adventure is over
and the beauty is faded
When she only speaks to you
in dreams that are jaded.

When the pain in your heart
Finally stops to smart

That's when you know
you're in the epilogue.
Mark Steigerwald Dec 2019
6 months since we parted
26 weeks

So much has past, and so much has happened.
So many days missing you, trying to fill the void with whatever I could.
Though Business mostly.

I gave you my word I would wait 6 months before opening my heart again, 6 months for myself to heal
For you to heal
And to honor you and respect you.

But now that commitment has ended and yet I feel as I did when I first began it.
My heart is full, my wounds have healed, yet as the dust settles, emotions

Last December I was madly in love with you,
And this December finds me in a strangely similar place,
Strange what can happen in merely a year.
Strange how things can change so quickly and everything can be so different in just one year.

I'm happy on my own, while reminiscent of the days gone by
You reinvented love for me, you showed me depth and grace and truth. And I'll hold on to those lessons for ever.
How can one let such wonderful memories go?

I may never see you again, and that thought haunts me everyday but I'm dearly glad we met, I'm dearly glad you loved me, I'm dearly glad for everything. No regrets, no remorse. No take backs. I keep it all, I wont forget for a thousand years how good and kind and loving you were to me.

You're love is so real, your heart is so beautiful. And you will always find a brother in me.

6 months
26 weeks
Here we are
And here I am.

My commitment to you complete
I get back up upon my feet
I take in the new day
And I open my heart in a brand new way.

December, Help me never to forget her.
December help me to never say goodbye.

I love you Lauren, I love our story, I love the memories and the magic and the divine sovereignty that God played in our relationship. I love the lessons learned, and the stories of you that I still tell, of your passion, your generosity, your love. You're magic.
I love our story. The story of a guy at a summer camp in New York who fell in love with a girl from Missouri and how God used each of them to reveal to each other His wonderful love.
Mark Steigerwald Dec 2019
Over in a flash
Yet seeming to last a life time.

I woke up in November from my summer nap.

I breathed in deep air that for the first time in months was not hindered with the chill of pain and loss.
The burden of losing someone so precious and lovely.

Time is a slow yet effective healer, and can treat any type of hurt or wound, or so they say.
In reflection as I look back on my time with dearest Lauren, I'm so utterly grateful,
if I could do it all over again knowing full well that our love would end, I would gladly and speedily choose to take myself through all of it once more. The distance, the missing eachother, the long drives, the time spent apart.

For me it was always worth it.
Even with the thought that we could potentially break apart.
The love she gave me and showed me and taught me, I'll never forget it. Not even when I'm a hundred years old.

I'll probably end up writing a book about that love she had, I'll teach my daughters one day to love like her, to care like her, to be like her.

My time with sweet Lauren was one of the greatest Investments I have ever made

Some have tried to offer apologies for all the money and time I spent with her, yet I quickly turn them down and tell them I gained more out of my time with her than I could have in a lifetime with anyone else

Yet November is here
November has come

Though the feelings fade, and my heart begins to heal, I won't let myself forget her face, her smile,
Her magic that mesmerized me.

I'm sorry we're here
And I do dearly wish we were elsewhere, preferably together. And I'd be lying if I said that I don't sometimes miss you, or love you, or want you, or think of you, your lips, your hands, your feet swift as a doe, made to dance. Your embrace, the way you would run out of your front door and meet me half way in the freezing cold, bare footed and wearing shorts with the brightest and most beautiful eyes I truly have ever seen. The way you'd let me sweep you off your feet. Magic.

But its November now, and here we are near strangers once again. I fear a piece of me will always love you, Lauren.
Mark Steigerwald Dec 2019
Falling leaves
And rolled out sleeves
I wipe my brow and I keep marching on

When October is over
Awaken my heart

When October is over
Allow me once more to start

The warmth starting to fade and a  
new chill transforming the world we know Into a dark and barren place.
Yet deep down hope is rekindled and light begins to shine.

When October is over
Let me know

When October is over
I'll let her go

But just for a little while longer
I'll hold on to her,
I'll embrace her memory,
I'll seek out her friendship
I'll dream of the day when I win her back,
I'll write love songs to her and not share with anyone
I'll paint for her with all the skill my shaking hands can muster
I'll practice my dancing to impress her
I'll pray to God to hold her once more
I'll wash my face and comb my hair
I'll dress myself in all of her favorite clothes I own
I'll imagine an impossible life with her, seeing the world and living out our dreams.

Wake me up when October is over
But for now let me sleep and enjoy this dream, this wondrous dream I've been stuck in.
Let me lie to myself that perhaps she yet loves me,
Let me lie to myself as I imagine her saying she wants me back
Let me lie to myself and say there's hope for the love we once had
Let me lie to myself sweet mysteries
Let me Reforge the passion, reignite the romance arouse my inmost desire:
To hold her as I did that first night we met. That first embrace, that wonderful surprise,
Realizing that she was so much better than I could have ever imagined.

When October is over
Please don't let my dreams continue,
But humor me just for awhile as this month passes by, to imagine a life by her side.
Mark Steigerwald Dec 2019
To remember you
My dear September
To remember your smile
To remember your touch
To remember the way you showered your love in the little things
To remember your intentionality
To remember your grace
To remember you dancing,
Like a dream you were when I held you in my arms,
Like a dream you were when I kissed you with my mouth.
Like fresh honey, or new oil,  I knew your value fully well, I knew how precious you were, dear September

I knew not to take you for granted,
I knew to hold you tight and treat you right.
I knew to sing you love songs and tell you "in my arms was where you belonged"
I knew to be tender with you, gentle and sweet, I knew your value fully well and I strove to help you see it.

You were my dear and my darling,
You were my love, my Victor's crown.
When our hands met I knew heaven came down,
You were my shining Oasis in a sea of sand, you were my world, my marching band.

September I remember you,
You're golden hair, your golden heart.
September I remember and I'll never forget though I may now be gone.

September though I must move on,
I'll always remember.
Mark Steigerwald Dec 2019
The rains of August
Those darkest days

Denial setting in
Masking the hurt beneath thick skin

Reality hurts
Waking up still nowhere near over her.

Another day
Another week
Another month

And still my heart is resolute on loving her

Another day
Another week
Another month

Still she visits in my dreams
Soaring on wispy moon beams
Whispering in my ears
Casting away all my fears
Wiping away all those tears

There one lovely moment,
Gone the next

To think of another
Causes me to shudder
We speak occasionally
Cruel brief moments with a girl I cannot seem to forget.

August, you were mostly bleak
Mostly filled with business and reflection on better days.
Yet near your end light appeared at the end of the tunnel.

Not much. Just a glimmer, just a glimpse of a future that in which I could one day find myself living in.

A future of happiness once more, a love like the one I shared with her,
A love that I could write a thousand poems about and never run out of words.

August you were my darkest,
Yet you showed me that even in the darkest of nights
There's always shining lights, illuminating some bright future, pointing beyond my momentary troubles.

August you were my darkest,
But you showed me the depths
So that one day I could climb the heights.

Thank you, dear friend.
Mark Steigerwald Dec 2019
Through loud crashes
And heroic smashes
Through long nights and lonely walks
July you stayed by my side.

July, you were there
When few could claim thus.
You showered your care
When others made hardly a fuss.

July, you were there
When the bottom fell out
July so fair, so constant
When all I could do was shout

July,
You were my first days without her
My first lonely nights,
my misery, my muse,
my history, my news

July I don't know why you came to me
Or how I ended up with you at my side.
But now that time has past, and those wounds have scared and healed
I'm ready to return to you and say that Im grateful for you, and for those really hard nights.

They taught me the brevity of life.
They taught me to hold on:
To those I love a little tighter,
To those I cherish a little deeper,
To stay up talking a little longer,
To drive a little farther,
To try a little harder,
To love a little richer

July July,
I cry to think
I cry to remember
I cry to retrace those summer steps
Those first days without her.

July July,
Thank you for being there
When I didn't understand
And I couldn't comprehend.
Though I didn't see it
You were what was best.
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