We’re in Florida for a couple of weeks, which allows Grant and I some much-needed couple time. We both are working remotely, but there’s plenty of time for daily walks on the beach, puttering, shopping, movies, yeah, some spanking, and just…hanging out.
I discovered an outlet mall nearby that had a store I really wanted to visit, and Grant is great about taking me to those places and waiting while I fulfill my archaic need to forage.
I was finally at the check-out when the woman at the register, a gal in her late 40’s, engaged me in a discussion. She remarked on my ring. She admired it and I thanked her. She told me I was very lucky. I agreed then added, “The ring was a gift from my husband on our 25th wedding anniversary.” She literally stopped wrapping and gawked at me:
“You have been with the same man for over 25 years? I. can’t. even. imagine! How do you DO that?”
“Well, um, it’s not easy! We’re both very stubborn! To get through that many years you have to be willing to go though some really good times and some really bad times. You love and maybe even hate, and you play and fight, and you just don’t walk away.”
“Wow! THAT is amazing. You two should be on Oprah!”
I think that is pretty amazing. I think it’s amazing that we are a rarity. I think it’s mind-boggling that the benefits of sticking it out, honoring vows, putting integrity, hard work, family values over temporary happiness is considered unique. Don’t get me wrong. I understand that people divorce for good reasons and sometimes there really is no other choice. I’ve in fact seen both sides of that coin.
However, the benefits of working through the toughest times and making it through to the other side are sweet. We have each other. I live with a man who has known me and loved me for close to 33 years. We’re also beginning to see that we provide a foundation for our family, for the children and grandchildren to come. Our older son said to us a number of months ago, “I really respect you guys, and what you’ve put into your marriage. I am learning that relationships are really hard work, and now that I get that, I have a better understanding of what you’ve been through to make your marriage work. I truly admire that. You’ve set an example for us kids.” Wow!
Our older son is newly engaged. He did in fact ask his girl on New Year’s Eve to become his bride and she accepted. His life is changed and our family life is changed. That’s been a new experience, expanding our family circle, forming new bonds, and parenting in new ways. More and more it seems it’s what we do and not what we say that matters. My soon to be daughter-in-law is looking to me for adult parenting. Our son is looking at us to find his way. They want to walk a similar path, one of long-term commitment and deep love. And yes, they’ll have some very rough times too. I’m going to try not to watch those parts, and Grant is already helping me keep boundaries.
My son has fought being like his father almost every day of his life since he was an early teen. Their relationship has been difficult. And yet…every day he acts more and more like his father. Even his fiancé has seen it and remarked on it. She’s a quieter young woman than I was, more willing to be led, and yet, when all 4’10” of her gets riled, when she gets fired up, watch out! He’ll have his hands full, and he’ll deserve every minute of it too! She’s tiny while he’s a large man, 6’1” with extra broad shoulders. I’ve seen him, in laughing exasperation, pick her up and simply throw her over his shoulder when she gets stubborn and he’s done. I think they’re in it for the long haul and I hope she gives him a good run for his money!