In the summer of 1999 I took a vacation with my parents as we always did every summer to visit family out west. We’d spend at least a week on family property and back then it was safe enough to explore without adult supervision if you were an adolescent. I have many good memories from that time.

On our way there I’d often read magazines. My favorite to read back then was Town & Country. That year in June they had the most eye-catching, memorable display of aquamarines I’d ever seen. It was…otherworldly.

I recall reading that issue, seeing two dead but well-preserved Monarch butterflies laying peacefully on the ground on a walk and then hearing the news (while on vacation) about the death of JFK Jr., his iconic wife Carolyn and her lovely sister. I will forever associate aquamarines and monarch butterflies with those beautiful young people and their tragic deaths. Symbols of unmistakable, ethereal beauty passing out of the world of the living.

While I’ve been wearing a ring that resembles an engagement ring with my wedding band in public I think I’ll try to buy an aquamarine ring to wear instead. And, I’ll likely try to wear that ring on one hand or the other for the rest of my life… I’m not sure why that feels right exactly but it does. Maybe because I’m almost 40 and have two young kids and it’s unlikely I’ll ever find the love I had hoped for until I die, and even if I do my youth is almost spent without finding it regardless. And no, I’m not being melodramatic. I don’t think it’s impossible, but more or less just unlikely. And no, I’m not looking for some perfect love. Just the sort of love where you hold the other person’s hand because it’s completely natural to… Maybe I’m a hopeless romantic to think death will be that amorously blessed. Many Christians don’t think romantic love continues or can be found after death at all but I don’t see it as scripturally in error and yes I’ve researched it. Actually I think it makes an incredible amount of sense as a Christian, given what I’ve researched, to believe that it’s quite possibly a part of Heaven.

Regardless, isn’t that an amazing photo by Anita Calero of an amazing aquamarine display?