My friend Isaac took me to supper this past Saturday night, to celebrate my Sunday birthday. (#souldate). Visiting with him is always a good time to catch up on each other’s lives, enjoy a meal together and discuss some of the deeper issues of heart, mind and soul. He provides a valued sounding board for my random musings, creative endeavors and family “stuff”.
Over the table, we hash out the dreams and doldrums of life, including the relentless passage of time that a birthday always brings to mind. I mentioned to him a country song from the 90’s that tells the story of a family at 3 different life stages, and how poignantly it speaks to the changes we all endure and witness. If you are interested, look up artist Tracy Lawrence’s “Time Marches On”. It is an intelligently written yet simple narrative of one family’s life story.
Our niece is getting married a month from today, a lovely and accomplished young woman whose birth I remember vividly. We will be traveling to Houston to gather with the Cutshaw side of the family and celebrate her wedding, as well as my and Sweet Pea’s 32nd wedding anniversary, and Cutshaw Grand Poobah Howard’s birthday. As I look forward to this wonderful occasion, my happiness is tempered a bit by sadness at the unexpected death of a friend.
Ellen had moved to California at the end of 2012 and I had not managed to keep in touch the way I would have liked. Still, as I explained to a mutual colleague, just knowing she was “out there” comforted me. Now, knowing that she is not, is a kind of sad that is quite undefinable.
Once more I am reminded of an old adage, that I need to stop and smell the roses. The daily-ness of life lulls me into complacency…until there is a wedding, a birthday…a death. Every day is an occasion to be savored and shared with the people around me. God, give me eyes to see and a heart to appreciate both the monumental and the mundane occasions You set before me daily. Amen and Amen.
Reflections on the eve of another wedding anniversary
Our 27th wedding anniversary is tomorrow and I find myself amazed that so much time has gone by since I married my sweet husband. Equally amazing are the trials we have seen, the laughs we have shared and the lessons we have learned in our life together. Don’t fault me for saying “our life together” when referring to our marriage. Yes, he has his life and I have mine, and then we have a life together.
Often through the years when I’ve been too stressed-out to get to sleep, I’ve been known to ask for a bedtime story. And Jeff would begin some wonderful tale about a trip we would take to a magical place where everything was perfect, stress-free and we could enjoy just being together with no worries about time or intrusions. I could picture us on a scenic beach somewhere, walking off into the sunset. Walking with him into Forever.
Over the years we have endured heartaches and losses that I never imagined. From December 1997 to June 2001, we lost my Mama and both Jeff’s parents. Pop and Mom Cutshaw died less than 11 months apart. Other close relatives have died and our hearts have been broken in new places with every passing. We’ve lost coworkers and friends along the way. We’ve cried a lot, questioned a lot. I don’t know how many answers we have found.
We’ve also laughed a lot. My husband is the funniest human being I have ever met and, even after all these years together, the man can still make me laugh so hard I cry, or pee my pants, or both! He still has the ability to surprise me with both his humor and the depth of his soul. He is a decent, compassionate person who hates seeing people or animals mistreated. He also has the ability to see and accept life as it is, rather than complaining about how it isn’t. I’d like to be more like him when I grow up.
I feel blessed and grateful to share my life with him. I believe my life has been much richer and more fulfilling with him in it than it ever could have been without him. I don’t say he completes me, because I don’t think one person can do that for another. What he does do is help me to be the best I can be, and I like how I feel when I am with him.
We’ve walked a long time together and covered a lot of ground. I look forward to more years with him, walking side by side…off into the sunset. Off into Forever.