(Two years ago, while going through a job loss, my husband did what he had to do to make ends meet, including substitute teaching and working for the census. One day, as I watched him drive away in our little silver car, I thought, “There he goes, my knight in shining armor.” Then I smiled. The “armor” he was driving away in was certainly not shiny. And, truth be told, he himself was not as young as he used to be. Maybe “patinated” was a better word. That’s how this post came to be. Then, even as I was writing it, I couldn’t help but think of our friends Bernie and Welby and their devotion to one another for sixty years. Today, I am reposting in honor of my friend Bernie and her Welby. Just this past Saturday, he passed away, so Bernie is temporarily separated from her knight. But, thankfully, she will one day be reunited with the love of her life in the eternal Ever After. Farewell, Welby. You fought the good fight. See you later.)
A knight in shining armor. Isn’t that the dream of every fairy-tale believer? And why not? Why shouldn’t that be the way the story plays out? With a dragon-slaying, a kiss, and a happy Ever After?
In all the little books, that’s the end of the story, but only because of short attention spans. Perhaps there are some little damsels somewhere who might ask, and rightly so, “What happens in the Ever After? That sounds like quite a stretch. Can any knight’s armor stay shiny that long?”
In the Ever After of marriage, a woman finds that something happens to the bright shiny surface of the armor her knight shows up in every morning. The gleam is not quite as blinding in the sunlight, but there is a charming mellowness that is quite endearing. There are a few scars and scratches and dents, but these just serve to remind her of battles that have been bravely fought during the course of finding his way through the Ever After. Many have been won; some have been lost; all have been faced with courage.
She keeps an eye on the armor as it grows older in the Ever After, and she observes that something special is occurring. Over time, a fine metal will acquire a finish that is much sought-after among those who are schooled in the world of rarities and treasures. She notices that her knight’s armor is developing its own unique patina as it withstands the elements each day. Smiling, the very-much-grown-up princess admires the sheen of the well-worn armor that her knight continues to wear with honor and dignity.
The wisdom that has come to her in the Ever After allows her to know that a fine patina is of great value — something to be cherished — especially in a knight.