Monday, October 04, 2010

After 25 years, no end in sight for silver linings

I am not the easiest person to live with, and while this may come as no surprise to regular readers, let’s not get into all of that right now. Suffice it to say, in a quarter-century of marriage, my wife has been handed ample reason to trade me in for a newer model.
Of course, she was warned going in that her mileage may vary.

The fact that she was still here to celebrate our silver anniversary last week is not a testimony to my worth as a mate, but rather serves as proof that she just doesn’t know how to give up on lost causes. It’s true. Once she gets an idea in her head, she simply won’t let it go, and if she finds something broken she wants to fix it.

She’s a natural helper and healer — it’s why she’s a good nurse — but that also ensures that she labors under the false impression that she can make a decent husband or father (or human being) of me someday. Or at least house train me.

Old dog, meet new trick.

The thing is, we’ve had our share of dark clouds in the past 2.5 decades, but we’ve found our share of silver linings too. We’ve made mistakes — in fact, I hope she’s not keeping score — but we also have accomplished a couple of things together that are worth noting.

The most important of these, as you might surmise, were the additions of a pair of reasonably healthy, happy, intelligent and successful young human beings to the general population. If we did nothing else right, those two would have been worth it, and I know she would agree.

We’re at that stage of life where we realize there are some dreams we may never achieve, and yes, we have a few regrets. But we don’t have to look very far to see that we’ve been blessed in a myriad of ways.

I thought about these things last week as we walked hand-in-hand along the shore of Panama City Beach. We gathered a few shells, watched sandpipers scatter, looked at the wall of condos receding into the distance, and enjoyed the clear, cool water. The sun was warm, the breeze soft and crisp, the conversation full of memories and love and hope.

I could live like that for the rest of my days, I thought.

Here’s to another 25.

Peace.

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This was my Sunday column for The News Herald on Oct. 3.
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