Mike and I celebrated 21 years of marriage tonight. Not just marriage. GOOD marriage—the kind any romantic dreams about. It’s the kind that begins with a mutual physical attraction, and then leads to a pursuance of good nature and a copasetic sense of humor. It’s followed by an undeniable passion and (perhaps) even to acts defying common sense.
Getting married is called “taking the plunge” for a very good reason. And I believe one can be either happily or unhappily married to understand this vernacular phrase. Trust, I thank God each day for my lucky fortune in first meeting Mike and then having the courage to marry him. And I can say without hesitation, that taking the plunge with this man is the luckiest and smartest decision I have ever made.
Meanwhile, last year when we started waking up each morning and telling one another what hurt (“Aargh, my feet!”; “OH! My hip joints.”; “Ouch! My back!”) my husband and I believed we had discovered what it truly means to grow old together:
It means telling one another what hurts.
And now, as we continue raising two beautiful teenage girls and face challenges of which we were warned—but couldn’t have possibly understood until we met them head-on—today, I believe we were reminded once again of a way to embrace each moment.
Today as I was getting ready for the morning’s soccer game, I learned that one of my oldest and dearest friends had just lost her son. When she phoned to tell me of his death, my mind went numb and clouded with grief. I couldn’t form words to comfort my friend.
Are there any such words?
And then, out of nowhere came my daughter. Her arm was around me at once, and before she even knew what happened, her grave look of concern expressed that she was there to help no matter what. And in spite of the extraordinarily stressful few weeks she had just faced at school, and the soccer game waiting for her, that’s exactly what she did.
Clicking off my cell phone, consumed in grief and struggling with uncertainty over what I had said or what I was supposed to do, I told my daughter what happened. She instantly hugged me and said, “It's okay Mom. You’re such a good friend.”
I studied my own blue eyes looking back at me and tried to focus. She's fifteen, I thought, and I'm on the verge of turning flippin' fifty. I've been trying to teach my daughters the value and importance of friendship all their lives, and all I could say in response was:
I believe that today I reflected upon not only what it means to grow old . . . but also upon what it means to grow up. And ultimately I can’t help but ask—in Jeremy’ name—Is there ANY question at all about how much we love our children?
God bless you and keep you, Laura, and I’m so sorry for your loss.