Becoming whole through family life. Desserts help.
Ray hurled curses and Tommy threw punches at me one too many times. Teaching emotionally disturbed children combined with their physical aggression brought me to my knees. My classroom partner quit in despair and I needed help fast. Handing the supervisor my two week notice I added, “Karen, if I don’t get the next strong male body who walks in the door, I’m leaving.” Proving my good fortune, the person hired was tall, dark, and handsome, and going to graduate school! And the man for me.
We recently celebrated twenty-five years of marriage. Upon hearing this news, reactions range from “ho hum” to “are you crazy” to “that’s great.” I laugh because all are applicable. Some ask me about our secret to a long marriage. It’s hard to say. My happy marriage is…
…a good meal, a paying job, and having babies plus a roof over our heads. It is within the reach of the most common. Wake up each day, give it my best shot, go to sleep, repeat. It is doable because marriage is simply miraculous.
…being stalked by Snow White’s Evil Queen, Peter Pan’s Captain Hook, and Aladdin’s Jafar. Loss, pain, and suffering are inevitable and defeat-able.
…a Tough Mudder race, military boot camp, or giving birth. It’s hard, messy, and risky. It breaks me down to my weakness in order to show me my true strength.
…an awarding winning movie, World Series championship, or Usain Bolt record breaking 100 meters. On the surface, each appears to have been achieved almost effortlessly, yet excellence takes a high level of passion, commitment, skill, determination, work, and sacrifice.
…Christmas morning, a St. Patrick’s Day party, and a vacation at the beach. It is fun, funny, and full of extraordinary good cheer.
…red roses, bubbly champagne, and a beautiful diamond ring. It glitters, sparkles, and is passionate. It touches the heart in a most promise-kept, private and romantic way.
…growing a beautiful garden, a meaningful career, or a child into a contributing adult. It takes time. Start growing love as soon as possible, stick with it, and time will take care of most the rest.
Somehow love conformed and transformed two young, rough-around-the-edges, and strong-willed people into a happy…one.
Gray Stripe Earned: A happy marriage is a mystery.