January 25, 2016

39 Years and Counting

Sometimes I look at the woman sitting near to me on the sofa or in the car, across the table in the restaurant, or next to me in bed, and have a powerful thought: I simply cannot picture my life without her presence. Later this year we will have been married 40 years. I realize that is 60% of my life and 65% of hers. We have lived together much longer than we have lived apart.

Together we have made and raised two incredible daughters. We have lived in ten different houses in four different states. Our homes have been blessed with five different dogs (sorry, Bailey, but you weren't the first). a few rabbits, fish, a mouse or two, and an occasional bird that flew down the chimney and deposited soot all over the ceilings. 

We have traveled the world and found places that call to us in that special way that certain locations do. We have settled in the desert for over 30 of our years together and learned to live with over-the-top heat all summer and Christmas time spent in shorts in the backyard. Betty still misses the vibrant green that is not part of the desert.  Being so close to family instead of maple or oak trees has been a trade off she is willing to make, as long as we take occasional trips to see "real trees."

A few weeks or so ago we were watching a movie about a woman who was single, after many years of marriage. She was struggling with how the dating environment had changed and what she should do to meet new people. Pretty much simultaneously, we turned to each other to state that if one of us dies (a pretty safe bet), there would be no attempt, absolutely no interest, in finding another companion. This relationship has been so complete and satisfying that its power and memories would make searching for another quite pointless.

I can't think of anything else that could speak so fully to the power of a lasting relationship. Being alone would be preferable to being with someone else. Being alone would be the willing choice each of us would make. Our faith tells us we will be together again. Until that time, we would patiently wait and remember.

Before 2016 gets too much older I thought it a good time to declare my love for my wife and everything she has meant to me. Here's to a great year together, sweetie.


















28 comments:

  1. Congratulations Bob and Betty!! What a precious tribute to your life together. Sounds like you two have created a satisfying marriage along your satisfying journey. May God bless you with many more years together.

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    1. It has worked out very well indeed. Thanks, Pam.

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  2. A very touching post! Thank you so much for sharing Bob!

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    1. After a few "heavy" posts over the past few weeks, I thought it time to lighten up a bit and deal with something emotionally positive. I am glad you enjoyed it.

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  3. Congratulations to you both on your many years of marriage. My lovely and compassionate wife and I will celebrate 44 years of marriage this coming February.

    We can both say that we are in total agreement with you two in that we well never re-marry. And for similar reasons too!

    Praying for God's blessings for you both.

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    1. Congrats to you for 44 years! God's blessings on us all.

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  4. Great post, Bob. I feel the same way. After 47 years together I could never deal with breaking in a new relationship. Here's hoping we all have a good 20 more!
    b

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    1. Betty says she wouldn't want to train someone new! She's kidding (I think) but we are on the same page. And, I vote for 20 more years also.

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  5. Congratulations to both of you. In this day and age, those of us who have sustained committed relationships for so many years are not the norm anymore. It will be 43 for me and my husband this June and we have also told each other, we would never remarry. In fact, in one of my husband's thoughtful moments, he expressed how he would like to pass on the same day as me so neither one of us would have to be without the other.

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    1. Passing on the same day is romantic and that happens more often than one might think.Being alone is a scary thought after all these years together.

      But, with children and grandkids one of us can still contribute to their lives, so passing on the same day would cheat them out of that continuing relationship. If it works out that way, great.

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    1. Thanks, Mona. We certainly feel blessed.

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  7. Congratulations to both of you! Same conclusion. In fact, we both joke that nobody would want to deal with either of us anyway. It has been a GREAT 48 years here!

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    1. Thanks, Daryl, and congrats to you also. 48 years! BTW, let's meet for lunch sometime in February. Drop me an email with your schedule.

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  8. A big congratulations from TN, Bob, to you and Betty. It will be 37 for Deb and I in May, and I believe it would also be very difficult for either of us as well. I suppose that is a tremendous testimonial to love and honoring ones commitments. Heck of a nice thing to be remembered for.

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    1. Not sure why my comments came up as "Unknown"; I'll figure it out

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  9. With two daughters who got married in the last 18 months, all I could think when I read this post is that I wish 40 years from now they will feel the same way. What a testimony to lasting love. I'm so lucky to know both of you. And I loved the photos!

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    1. Thank you, our dear friend. You might have recognized two of the locations: the olive mill south of Portland and Cannon Beach.

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  10. Well said and congrats. We reach 40 yrs the end of March and it just keeps getting better.

    Peace and blessings from Tucson

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    1. Thanks from the Old Pueblo! One of our homes together was in north Tucson, near Ina Road and Oracle. Back then it was rather remote, but not so much today.

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  11. A very sweet tribute to your relationship and life together. Congratulations and wishing you many more years together!
    --Hope

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    1. Than you, Hope. It has been even better than I could have hoped for.

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  12. Congratulations to you both! Isn't it amazing that among your comments, our 35 years together is the shortest of the bunch? Perhaps having an amazing retirement journey is connected to having an amazing relationship journey! Anyway, congratulations again, and thanks for a lovely tribute. Betty is just a cutie!

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    1. I noticed the longevity represented by those who responded, too. What is the connection? I don't know but I am all for it. And, yes, Betty, is a cutie who is just about to have her 62nd birthday!

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  13. Congratulations to you and Betty! I will be married to the love of my life, Gus, for 41 years in June. Gus has been retired for several years but unfortunately has encountered some major health issues. I retired after 38 years of federal service in January 2015 and have spent most of the past year caring for Gus - not exactly what we had planned for retirement. I have really enjoyed reading your blog, especially how you spend your day because I am struggling with filling my days. It would be interesting to know how Betty spends her day . . .

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    1. How Betty fills her days...that might take a few posts! Good idea, Dawn. I will see if she'd like to share.

      Best to you and Gus.

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