"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Monday, February 14, 2011

How to stay valentines

     I wake early, secured in Jerry's arms. As soon as I stir, he kisses me and says, "Good morning, Sunshine! I love you and I hope you slept well and had nothing but good dreams." We hug and sometimes we count each other's eyes. Then we cuddle as we fall back to sleep together.
     Seven years ago today Jerry brought me roses, a ruby pendant and--a bundt cake. (The stores had run out of chocolates.) He proposed to me (and I accepted) on the swing in my back yard. We had been dating for--oh, let's see. Eleven days. We started pre-marital counseling right away, finishing the series after the wedding, which was 11 weeks later. Our marriage counselor said it wouldn't work; we're too alike.
     Well, it's working and I want to tell you why. It is not because we are too alike. We're not. It's because Jerry is perfect.
     No, he's not, but he's as close as a man can get. After his morning greeting, we read a prayer aloud together, giving the day to the Lord. We pick a color for the day, which applies to what we wear and the tea we drink. (Earl Grey covers black, gray, brown, beige, and white, because we drink it with milk.) He even bought himself a pink shirt for days when I wear pink. Then we shower together.
     You know how these little rituals in the early days of marriage--the waving goodbye from the window, the kiss hello at the door--sort of fall away? Well, the reason we still shower together after nearly seven years is that one day Jerry got into the shower and when I hadn't joined him after a few minutes he said, "I'm lonely." I've never missed the chance to join him again. (By the way, the secret to showering together without the other person getting in the way is to wash each other, not yourself.)
     At every meal, he takes my hands in his and prays, in part, "Thank you for my beautiful, sexy, wonderful, winsome, hardworking, wedded wife, my answer to prayer, my gift from God." And before bed he repeats his wedding vows to me, with a kiss after each one.
     Throughout the day he'll come give me a kiss for no reason, tell me he loves me, and ask what he can do for me. Oh, did I mention he makes breakfast? (We usually make lunch and dinner together.) We grocery shop together and whenever we do, he buys me flowers. He does the vacuuming and often he does the laundry. (We're retired, if you wonder where he gets the time.)
     When we are out he counts every VW bug (and every PT "Snugger" for good measure) and gives me that many kisses when we get home.
      What does he get in return? When we wake up I tell him,"Good morning, my Prince. I hope you slept well and had nothing but good dreams." At every meal I hold his hands and pray, "Thank you for my wonderful, sexy, handsome hard-working, faithful, forgiving, fun husband, my answer to prayer, my gift from God." Before bed, I repeat my wedding vows to him, with a kiss after each one.
     Throughout the day I kiss him for no reason, tell him I love him, and thank him for everything he does for me. I help with the laundry, the cooking and the cleaning. We like to call each other "my love." (Sarah called her husband Abraham "my lord.") Sometimes I tell him, "Thank you for loving me and marrying me and putting up with me." He'll tell me, "Thank you for loving me and marrying me and putting up with me and letting me love you and marry you." He stops there. The safety and tenderness I feel in his acceptance make responding to him easy.
     What first attracted me to Jerry was that he listens. Since then I have been further attracted by the fact that he never shouts (that's a big one with me), never defends or justifies himself, never blames, shames, or puts me down, won't quarrel if I pick a fight, never withholds his love or touch. And when I ask his forgiveness he always says, "There's nothing to forgive. I love you." because he has already let it go. He is the most emotionally stable person I have ever met.
     It has taken me seven years to come out of past dysfunctionality and recognize unconditional love. Every day I feel unworthy of it but day by day I am learning to embrace and enjoy it.     

Today I am thankful for my wonderful, sexy, handsome, hard-working, faithful, forgiving, fun husband, my answer to prayer, my gift from God.


  1. What I learned from this post: (1) I need a bigger shower and (2) I need fewer kids. ;)

  2. LOL! Warning: at your age, a bigger shower could result in MORE kids. . .

  3. Our rituals are different than yours, but we revel in our time together each day.