Grow Old With Me
Fred Figures – Sept 2010
“Congratulations! You look like a very happy couple.”
That’s what a man called out to us before driving away from a stop sign as we walked arm in arm together one evening. We were both surprised and appreciative of his comments – expressed as they were with genuine sincerity. It made our day!
It got me thinking how fortunate the both of us are… finding each other so early in our lives: me, a high school senior; her, a high school junior.
Also, as a friend – who attended our wedding many years ago – recently said, he always felt like we were meant for each other. Yet, if our love is so obvious to others, why is it I don’t think of it that way? I mean, I must be the luckiest guy ever, right? I just hope I’m not taking it for granted. Of course, our love has changed over time: richer, deeper and more wonderful in every way.
When I think of it, there are three reasons why our marriage has lasted so well.
1. I’ve married a saint. Who else would forgive my petulance for neediness and complaints? My lack of listening is unfair to her. And, my excitement for new ideas can often make myself the centre of my own attention. And, her? She has dreams in her coffee, but when do I ever take the time to ask her about them? So, she quietly ponders them to herself. Is that real love?
I’m a guy who’s taken years to slow down. Like a retired racehorse, it’s been hard to step down to a trot. But, if that’s me now, there must have been no talking to me – back in the day.
2. Luck. Canadian Folk legend, Valdy, sang it best: “When it comes to matters of the heart, I’d rather be lucky than smart.” Despite all my faults, even I, know a good thing when I see one. It’s true, a blind man knows when he’s walking in the sun. Yes, it shines on us all but, I’m the one she picked.
3. Faith. I don’t know when I started feeling that there was more to life than just me. The world was more than what I saw, and I wasn’t seeing much. Yet people like my wife, who truly loved me, cared. They revealed another world: one that honours you as a special individual. They provide clues to how the world really works in the long run… and, something else: faith.
Maybe, being raised as an only child, I had more time on my own to think about life. Also, seeing my parent’s divorce unfold before me, I saw the worst of how humans can act when they inflict hurt onto one another – all in the name of love. There really wasn’t any human being who could heal my hurts; I learned to trust the spiritual power emanating through us all… gratefully accepting it.
Over the years, my wife has help me put together the broken pieces of my heart as I prayed that, if it was within my power, I would never force my family to face a similar fate. Today, our three adult children seem to agree with me: whatever I do (or, don’t do) in this life, our marriage will always be our crowning achievement.
Singer / song writer John Lennon who, inspired by poet, Robert Browning, beautifully articulated my feelings in his song ‘Grow Old With Me.’
“Grow old along with me,
The best is yet to be.
When our time has come,
We will be as one.
God bless our love,
God bless our love.”
The Happy Couple
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And all along, my wife has been waiting… happy for me to catch up with her level of understanding love.
That’s the way I figure it. – FP