we met in the middle…..
Almost forty-six years ago I married the love of my life. Today we live almost exactly midway between my childhood home and his. Now our journey has taken us farther away from home on several occasions over these years but we alway wound up back where our roots are deep. By today’s statistics we shouldn’t still be happily married but here we are, living proof that commitments can be kept. We married at the tender age of 17 and 18, madly in love and excited to go forward into our future. We hit a few bumps along the way but the glue that bound us, made us one, held.
I suppose we don’t have a lot to brag about when it comes to success in the eyes of the world. We aren’t wealthy or famous but we are rich in the things that truly matter. God and family are and always have been our grounding. Both of us were raised on the farm by parents who knew the value of hard work, patience and persistence. I think it is normal at our age to look around us, see that the numbers of friends and family our age are passing on and wonder if we will leave behind something of value to our family and our community. Neither of us are formally educated, our inheritance was and is an attitude of ‘I think I can’, that came from generations before us. We are both dreamers, although somewhat pragmatic ones, and even at this stage of life still have dreams of things we want to accomplish and places we want to go and to have the ability to help others along the way. The body may grow weak but the mind and the spirit still soars.
One of the things I have observed is that resilience is a necessary component to survival. A good example of this is a dear friend of ours, we call her our other mother, who will have her 94th birthday this year. She had Typhoid fever as a child, rode a horse to school, married young and worked hard alongside her husband and love of her life. They were never able to have children. He passed away suddenly almost twenty years ago. She cared for her brother after that for 10 years till he passed away. All her siblings are now gone and she lives alone. She had heart surgery in her late eighties and knee replacement after that. You never see her that she doesn’t have that sweet smile on her face, a petite lady at around maybe 4′ 8″, she has a dynamite personality and a quick wit and dry humor. She has the amazing ability to pull off a prank or have a split second ‘come back’ that will make you roll in the floor laughing. Her biggest worry is that she will become a burden at some point and has made all the plans and preparations for her care and final arrangements. The moment she gets a bill in the mail a check is sent by return post immediately. I don’t think that I have ever met anyone who can match her resilience. Her life and her resilience are her legacy and we are so blessed to know and love her and perhaps to learn the art of resilience.
I plan to write our story someday just for the purpose of having our children and grand children know that our journey was made with joy and purpose and perhaps leave a legacy of resilience….