Anybody remembers the ballad song, Rosemarie Blue? In the early 1970s when I was in my first year high school at Yoyong in La Loma, I kept hearing it playing from a nearby restaurant with a loud jukebox. The eatery was along Mayon Street right across the school. It caught my attention because it was a sad song.
Sad songs easily impressed me. Well, in a way, they still do.
I had a classmate then named Rosemarie. Nope, she wasn’t surnamed Blue (not related to Blues Clues either). She was pretty but kind of careless with her manners. She had a terrible crush on my classmate and friend, Arthur, but he didn’t like her one bit. But one thing led to another and soon they became good friends.
Each time I heard the song Rosemarie Blue (it was beginning to be popular that time) a story began constructing in my mind and developed, with my classmates Rosemarie and Arthur taking lead roles. The love story I mentally created ended up tragically, as the story in the song also did. It began when, out of curiosity, I started noting the lyrics of the song, even jotting them down, and pondering on them, feeling them, and empathizing with the song writer, Neil Sedaka.
I’m sure he hadn’t wrote the song out of a personal experience (because in the story, the singer had already died while singing it) and it couldn’t have been someone else’s story, too, narrated to him–that would have been a ghost telling him about it, which is rather hard to believe–though probably apt for All Saints Day. Apparently, it was all out of Neil’s imagination. And no wonder, he’s a great song composer and singer. A story creator in songs. He’s one of my favorites.
The song kept playing in my mind from time to time, through high school and even college. I guess it held on to my memory because it was a perfect love story that went on in the afterlife (I loved stories like that)–but with the guy’s selfless love urging Rosemarie to wear flowers in her hair instead of bringing them to his grave. I tried to imagine what I’d do if I were in his shoes–would I also urge the girl I love to look for another guy after I die? And then keep on loving her and even promise her that one day “I’ll be with you”?
Today, knowing truth in the bible, I’m well aware that souls no longer marry in heaven. We’ll love each other there as brothers and sisters. But, is there a chance that a remnant of romantic affection would stay in our hearts to remind us of how we used to be on earth?
Others say, we’d forget being husbands and wives in heaven. Worse, that we’d lose the ability to recognize each other. I don’t know where they got the idea, but the bible says heaven is where everything is going to be perfect. I can’t imagine how amnesia could be part of perfection. And look at how the rich man recognized Abraham and Lazarus when they were already departed souls.
I believe all positive and godly emotions will remain in us but seen in a different heavenly perspective. I will still know my wife there as my wife–and still love her as a husband would–but not anymore on an earthly or fleshly manner or level. It would be as Jesus, the Groom, would love his bridegroom, the church.
No thought or emotion God had put in us on earth would be taken away or destroyed–except that there will no longer be any tear shed.
No more heart aches there. No more jealousy, envy, hatred, or any negative emotions linked to romance or anything else. We’d remember the bad things people did to us as well as those that we ourselves did, but in a different, highly mature light. No negative emotions attached whatsoever. Only love. Often, I try to imagine what that is going to be like and try to apply it somewhat in this life, even just to a certain degree. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” We should be practicing it now.
Anyway, back to Rosemarie, the song says she enjoyed selfless love from a man who had thought of nothing but her happiness. But then, sudden death separated them–although even death could not stop the man’s commitment to love her. He communicated such love to her in a song even when he was already in the other world, even perhaps when Rosemarie couldn’t hear a word he spoke.
In high school and college, that was long before I met Christ, Rosemarie Blue’s story played in my mind every All Saint’s Day, November first of each year. As we roamed around the cemetery looking at pictures of the dead displayed on tombs, I imagined Rosemarie’s lover–and perhaps how they were already joined together happily in the afterlife. Did she marry again in my thoughts? Sometimes she didn’t, sometimes she did. Depending on my mood.
I tried to sing the song to my wife, but she didn’t like it–I mean, the way the story went. Well, okay perhaps she also didn’t like the way I sang it? Since then, the song stopped playing in my mind, except recalling it now and then.
To hear the song by Neil Sedaka, watch the video below..