In my continuing reflections on 45 years of marriage, I re-read what I wrote Jay five years ago. It is still happily true.
In this world of so many negatives, we often forget that true love stories really do happen … and sometimes you do get “happily ever after.”
The night I met you, you asked me if I was happy. At that time, I didn’t know. Happiness seemed a transient feeling, like a butterfly that touched me for the briefest of moments and then flew away.
I wasn’t sure happiness would ever light on me and stay. More than that, I wasn’t sure I knew how to make anyone else happy.
But then a strange thing happened. Happiness blended into love. I’m not sure how or when it happened.
I do remember the empty feeling that nothing could fill when you left.
And I remember the giddy exhilaration that filled all the empty places when you returned.
I remember deciding that the feeling of being full was so much better than the feeling of being empty.
And so amid some fears that emptiness might coexist with full, I took the chance and married you.
On our honeymoon you talked me into riding Space Mountain at Disney World. It was a prophecy of the many years that followed.
It was thrilling. It was frightening. It was unpredictable. We climbed to the heights and dropped to the depths. And the dizzying curves threw us together. It was nothing like I expected.
In 45 years, you have totally redefined what I thought happiness and love were.
I wanted you to bring me flowers. You didn’t go to the florist. You went to the seed store. You planted me a flower garden. You tended it and watered it. You weeded it. I was happy.
I wanted to go out to a fine restaurant. We did, but it wasn’t enough. You cooked meals for me with all my favorites. And you served it. We ate together. I was happy.
I wanted to watch a romantic movie. You said, “Let me show you something better.” And you showed me the wide expanse of the sky.
You showed me clouds, sunrises and sunsets. You showed me fields of golden grain. You showed me flowers, trees and animals. And we beheld God’s Creation together. I was happy and at peace.
I was nearsighted. I said I couldn’t see what you saw. And you said that was ok. You said I could look through your eyes.
You found things I could see. You took pictures of things I couldn’t and zoomed in and we looked at the pictures together. I did see! I was so happy.
Less anyone reading this think that all those years of marriage were all hearts and flowers, they weren’t. But the times of unhappiness made the times of happiness shine even brighter.
The whole is truly more than the sum of the parts.
I know you likely won’t be writing poetry or reflecting on the past or the future. You truly live each day as it comes. And your love songs to me are written, not on paper, but in our life together.
Thank you, Jay. I am blessed and I am happy.
The theme song from Aladdin makes me think of our life together.