Tracks In The Dust

A Father's Advice About Learning the Mission of Life

Archive for the tag “Marriage”

Our 35 Years of Sharing

There is no way to put it into perspective completely. Today my wife and I celebrate 35 years of being married.

It has been a marriage filled with joy and sorrow, adventure and patience, love and anger, some victories and some regrets. The memories are precious, even as some of them are filled with cloudy remembrances, they are part of our love growing together.

Love Birds

We were married as our parents opined “very young”  ( my wife was 19 and I was 23). We didn’t go in blindly to the marriage, but I think we were naive about what the journey ahead would be. But headfirst we jumped into life with the promise of a bright future.

Thirty-five years later we have relocated multiple times across the US ( mainly because of job related reasons), we have 4 great children that have supplied ( and continue to supply) a house full of love and family dramas. But over all we have been blessed. Not by wealth, not by possessions, not by health or constant good fortune, but by each other. It has not been perfect.

I want to quote a wise  spiritual leader, pastor, author I have had the honor to know, Steve Lucas, who also recently posted some sentiments about his marriage on his site (Yesterday Lucas):   These really captured my heart as things that I feel are so true.  “Marriage is not about perfection. It’s about two people, stumbling through life together, growing in their relationship with each other and with God. Forgiveness, patience, a bad memory, and extra love are all ingredients that are required to make it in marriage.”

And I agree with that 100%.   As he explains also that there are a handful of days that could be good to have called a “do over”. I can think of several in recent memory ( some further back are a bit cloudy, but the remnants are still there ). But  as he says, do-over’s would likely be at the  expense of the wisdom gained through mistakes. Again I couldn’t agree more.  “ Thankfully, in every failure there has been forgiveness; in every trial, we shared them together.”

“I don’t deserve my wife. But then again, neither do I deserve the Grace of God. But I’ll happily accept both.”

I am blessed with the happiness of what is truly the good fortune in my life, to know true love.

The Meaning of Love

Rose Close Up

Before I was in love with my wife, I had an idea of what love was. A deep feeling of passion and remembrance. A way to feel that was part of songs and poetry.

Time had captured a high-school romantic way to know about desperate love and the pain when it was over. Everyone has a different definition, but the verb “to love” I have learned has a meaning depending on where you started and how you got there.

After I fell in love with my wife, I realized how easy it was to be fooled into believing you were “in love.”  It is so much more once you know that love means more. It’s really unfair, because until you know that kind of love- you can’t understand it.

And once you do know that love, you cannot explain it to anyone quite exactly the way it is. But people will tell you they know, that they are aware of it. Perhaps they do- but only you and her will know for sure.

And then they we to capture it by making a “day” out of it.  On this day my wife and I celebrate an “anniversary”- another milestone in which to track the movement of life. It has been decades of love with my wife. We have experienced pain, elation of children in our lives, the passing of parents and the loss of one of our children to something we could not for-see. We have moved to many cities, experienced many lessons over time. We are here to tell each other it will all be fine– we are together in God’s love. We understand much about love. Not everything mind you, but much of love and the life we have led together.

Maybe I’m Amazed

 

Maybe I’m Amazed.

Maybe I’m amazed by the way we can make “something” out of “nothing”. And sometimes we like it and sometimes we hate it.

Maybe I’m amazed how there are always two stories to everything, and then there is the real story. Looking through our own eyes, we see them through our own lens and it has so many colors.

Maybe I’m amazed that after 30+ years of marriage I am still in love with the same person. Love is not negotiable, it has ups and downs but it can be always and forever.

Maybe I’m amazed that more people don’t know about how find the beginning of something new, and stay stuck in one direction wondering when things will change.

Maybe I’m amazed that we only have a certain amount of time here on Earth, but we treat it so poorly- letting days go by without appreciating our time and using it to do what God has expected us to do. The rewards are endless.

Maybe I’m amazed that there are so many beautiful, wonderful people in this world, yet so many people are attracted to the negative things around them.

We all have a path. For us so fortunate to be able to make choices, we can. Yes we have the ability to change. We can choose at any moment to make things better.

So with so many in the world that cannot choose, we need to take that power and choose for the better. Help show others the way.

 

Celebrate Milestones

Milestones.

Measuring the passing of things can sometimes bring sadness, because it serves as a reminder that we are all getting older. It’s a fact of life we cannot deny, and as long as we are alive on Earth it is a reality we will experience.

Over the years I have changed my view of things.  When I was younger, milestones like birthdays, anniversaries, and those significant days that help to provide keepsakes that will live in our memories…were all fleeting by at a very high-speed. Perhaps friends and family would gather together, while other times life just got too busy to really make time to celebrate or pause. That seemed okay because after all it seemed, “it was just another day” on the calendar to mark time.

As I have gotten older (not “old” by-the-way) I have become much less cynical about the milestones, they need to be observed. They need to be cherished for the place they signify on the timeline of our lives. Sure some of that can generate melancholy that can just bring the tone down on the very thing we should be celebrating. But it doesn’t have to. And if we let it , we are missing an opportunity to be thankful for the occasion to count it.  What are we observing/counting anyway?

Our milestones (however small or significant) are there to provide us the chance to remember. Remember the good, the bad, the joyful times and the struggles that we have lived through. It is part of life, so in fact we are celebrating life in all of its detail. We are also celebrating the people and loved ones in it, and that simple fact that God is there to surround you in the moments each and every minute of them.

So this weekend my wife and I will celebrate 33 years of marriage. I used to think that sounded like something just old people would be happy about, but I don’t consider myself “old”. I enjoy the same humor, same music, same movies, same books, same food, same need for relationships and life’s validation as my children and their friends. I can feel older since my body has certainly begun to show wear. I can know that I am wearing out  because of a date on the calendar, but it is the collective experiences I have had over the last 33 years that make me the richer person for it. I love my wife and the children we raised as the most Earthly rewards either of us could ask for. I look forward to eternity with them someday.

I am also positive that someday it will end, and as someone who fights cancer everyday there are special anniversaries to celebrate with my loved ones and with God. They are everyday milestones. It’s the reason and need to keep going and enjoy the passage of time. Like the ads say “celebrate more birthdays”. 

So it seems – everyone has milestones to pass along the calendar of our lives. Some we may not observe but should, others may pass with little celebration. For some souls, time is too short and they leave us behind to keep time. For those of us that get more – we need to grab hold of the minutes and make them be the best.

 Here’s a song that says it all from one of my favorite musicals, RENT.

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