Daily Prompt: Pensive

12183926_10153666325746763_7447737793838516270_oThe Daily Prompt was pensive; below is my humble offering….

She sat there, dreamily staring out the window; both hands around her favorite cup, which was still warm from the hot tea he had watched her pour earlier. She was in a pensive mood.

He was familiar with her moods and he’d seen this particular one more after the kids were gone. She would stare out the window, a hint of sadness on her face, sometimes wiping a tear from her eye. He was pretty sure he understood how she felt, but sometimes he wasn’t quite sure how to help. She had also mentioned some lady issue that started with an “m” that made her a little more moody on some days.

He walked over to her chair and embraced her in a hug and said, “Are you missing the girls, babe?” She said, “Yes” with a shaky voice. He gently pulled her up from her favorite chair and she melted into the arms that had held her close for over 20 years.

After a long embrace he asked, “How about we go across the bay and catch dinner?” The smile twinkled in her eyes before it reached her lips and he knew he had brought her back from the walk down nostalgia lane. She ran to grab a jacket and he smiled knowing he had been her hero once again.

You can’t change their spots

 

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My love and I in 94′

Since I like to impart knowledge to the younger crowd, I listen to their conversations with great attentiveness to things that bother them.  When I hear them discussing relationships, my ears perk up because I have been married for 22 years and let’s just say I’ve learned a lot.  So, in an attempt to save someone a little heartache or just to make you think, I wanted to share some thoughts.  If you are currently in a relationship, it would behoove you to take great care to notice the things that irritate you now.  Once you have been married for a few years, they will irritate you more.  That cute little snuffling snore will become something you despise.  Trust me on this one.  I write more about it at Sleeping with the Enemy .

A good marriage is work; it doesn’t just happen and it’s not 50/50 like so many say; it requires each giving 100% for the best shot at making it work.  Because it isn’t easy, you should be careful when you begin to consider a spouse; someone you intend to spend your life with (because in my opinion that should be the goal at the onset).  If you are looking at it as something you can jump out of at a whim, you’re going in with the wrong attitude. Unfortunately, that seems to be how many younger folks see it, but I digress.

One of the things to consider is the fact that you cannot change someone.  They are who and what they are and no amount of whining, griping, threatening, withholding or pouting is going to change that.  That will only serve to make both of you more miserable.  So, if you already have a growing list of the many things you do not like about your “love”, you better think long and hard about this.

When you’ve been married a couple of years and the baby has been up all night, the ac is out and your checkbook is in the negative, it takes patience and stick-to-itiveness.  At times like these, when your knight in shining armor has let his facial hair get all prickly and he is sitting in his favorite spot in his boxers all puffed up like toad, you have to dig deep, sister.   It’s not always like the movies…wait, it’s rarely ever like the movies.

What I am trying to convey is, don’t settle now thinking that your Mr. (or Mrs.) with the problem(s) is going to change once you marry, or once you have a baby, or once they get a job they like.  If they have an addiction problem, they are going to carry it into the marriage and, in my opinion, keep it until they allow God to deliver them.  If your “girl” has a spending problem, and you are very frugal, think twice or you might be paying off credit card debt for decades.  If they aren’t romantic and you are sappy and schmaltzy and not happy if you aren’t having dinner by candlelight, think it through.   I hear way too many of you young ones say, “Things will change when X happens”.  No, they won’t.  Don’t fool yourself.

No marriage is perfect, but figure out what your deal breakers are.  I am saying this as a woman with a failed first marriage that lasted 10 years and a 2nd one that has lasted 22.  I love my husband dearly and I am grateful that we can talk things through and we have overcome many obstacles and have been through many storms together.  We had family values in common and that is important.  We don’t believe in going to bed mad so we don’t let things fester and get bitter over them.  We are experts in the art of compromise.  I would be remiss if I didn’t give glory to God for giving me the faith, grace and love to be a godly wife as I’m sure things wouldn’t have gone as well without His divine hand.

Remember what real love is and ask yourself if this is the kind of love you have.  Obviously we all fail at some of this at times, but following is a good set of scriptures to meditate on and have been a source of strength for me in the darker hours.  In the words of St Paul – Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

Lift them up

rain drops on hisbicus

rain drops on hisbicus

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Cringe-Worthy.”

Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?

It bothers me to see anyone being embarrassed, but I think the worst I have ever been confronted with is when a man or woman belittles their spouse in front of others.  It makes me sick.  Sure, we all tease sometimes, and depending on how close you are with friends or family, there may be times you tease a little more due to histories together.

I was in Walmart the other day and a married (judging from the fact they both had on rings) couple were shopping for cards.  He spoke to her with the most condescending tone and looked at her like she was beneath him.  She was trying to find the perfect card and he was obviously tired of waiting.  It was almost as if he knew I could hear him and was enjoying that fact that he could humiliate her in public.  I was embarrassed for her and hurt for the pain she must be feeling.

When I see this situation, I can’t help but wonder what makes someone so bitter and miserable that they treat people the way they do.  I realize that my glimpse into their lives was just that; a mere glimpse.  To give him the benefit of the doubt, perhaps he was having a bad day, or had a medical condition or there was some logical excuse for treating her so poorly.

For the others, the ones who make it a habit and lifestyle of it, I pray that they would realize that others are not impressed, and that their behavior is not even remotely acceptable.  Often, people do this because they are so insecure themselves and they are trying to prove they are in control.

I am thankful for a husband who shows love and affection and appreciation for me and never tries to humiliate me.  We are here to lift each other up and support one another.  And in keeping with my mother’s day theme this year, I will again express thanks to my mother who taught me better than this.  She always taught me that you never disrespect someone you love, especially not in public.  If you have something to discuss that could escalate, save it for later.  Don’t put someone you love down, life them up.

When you give up on the white horse, read this

love is

When I listen to young women and even read some of their Facebook posts, I realize one way that we have failed them.  It seems their ideas of love and what it is or what it should be originates from fairy tales or the latest box office hit.   They believe there really is someone out there who will give them chills every time they see them forever.  Honey, trust me; if you have chills it usually means you have a fever and I don’t mean some heat induced love coma either.

For those of you desperately waiting for Brad Pitt’s twin to come riding up on a white horse in all his handsomeness and sweep you off your feet and carry you to his castle, well, have you ever heard the term “fantastical wish”?

Yes, when you meet Mr. Right, there are emotions and feelings and I will even go as far as to say butterflies on occasion, but what is love?  Is it just a feeling or is it something much more?

Love isn’t even remotely about the size of the ring, the exorbitance of the wedding, or how many ways he charms you on social media for all your friends to see (and be jealous!).  It’s certainly not about looks or size because all that will change as time marches on.

True love is an enduring promise; it doesn’t come and go with your moods and selfishness.  And as the hot flames die down, they turn into something warm and stable and more comfortable; like glowing embers that can be reignited.

Love is staying when you have every reason to go, its forgiveness whether you think they deserve it or not, it’s being patient when your patience is running out.  Love is what you have, when at the end of a long, horrible day, he can walk in and just know and give you a long, hard hug.  Love is telling you to lie down and rest and let him take a turn with the baby you were up with last.  Love is looking across the room and knowing that person has your back, whatever the situation.  Love goes through deaths, crisis and pain and grows stronger.

Love is making a choice to love on the days you just aren’t feeling it.  Love is caring enough to figure out someone else’s needs before they even ask you to.  Love is a tear in their eye, merely because there is one in yours.  Love realizes another’s dreams and helps them achieve them.

Love is not dragging people through their past and it should never glean satisfaction from an “I told you so”.  Love is not giving 50%, it is giving your all and then some.  Love isn’t easy, it is long-suffering.  Love isn’t for cowards.  Love has respect and would never ask you to do things that make you uncomfortable.

Love is long conversations, marked with smiles and laughter and him grabbing your hand while driving down the road.  Not so anyone can see, but because it’s what he wants.  Love is when he never leaves the house without a hug and kiss and an, “I love you”, because he realizes life is precious and sometimes short.  Love is a text when he knows you are struggling with something that says, “I love you and I’m here if you need me”.

Love can be messy.  It isn’t always dancing through the meadows with a song on your lips and flowers in your hair.  There usually aren’t any castles involved at all unless you go to the beach.  And the closest you might get to a white horse, is his dirty pickup truck.

Do I still get butterflies?  Yes, I do, but more importantly, when they are gone, or fail to appear for a while, I am not discouraged, because I know love is more than that and the longer you fan the flames of love, the stronger and more powerful it gets.

 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy;

love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely,

does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  

I Corinthians 13:4-7

Fishing with Mr. Patience

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I am just sitting here on this rainy night, contemplating our upcoming anniversary outing this weekend.  We will probably drive a few hours just to “get away” and go fishing, something we both enjoy and I don’t have the pleasure of doing very often.

I felt the corners of my mouth turn upward into a smile as I recalled a day of fishing with my husband when we were first married.

We were fishing one afternoon and although I enjoy it when the fish are biting and I’m catching, I’m not such a die-hard that I won’t put my pole down for a while and lay in the sun with a book for a while, (which may exceed fishing as far as the relaxation factor goes).

We were way up some creek and the bugs were buzzing, gators were cruising and the occasional fish jumped near the boat.  It was getting late, so we were hoping to catch dinner soon.  Suddenly my husband had something on, and it wasn’t giving up easily.  This motivated me so I jumped up and grabbed my pole and casted, sinking my bait right where I wanted it.

In the meantime, my husband had pulled his beautiful fish in and was anxiously awaiting my turn.  He didn’t have to wait long until I also had a bite and then he began coaching me, like he always does.  This annoys me, but he can’t help it so I just deal with it.  In my humble opinion, I did everything right.  But something went wrong, and I lost the fish and it was a big one.  Not your ordinary big one, mind you, but a monster.  My fairly new (at the time) husband lost his patience with me and proceeded to explain in a somewhat aggravated tone, that if I’d done as I was told, we would have a fat fish in the boat.

I did what I always did back then, long before I was blessed with age and wisdom and the ability to admit that I am wrong and laugh about it.  I threw my pole down, stomped to the back of the boat and sat down sulkily, book in hand, anxiously awaiting the expected apology.

He got the poles situated, grumbled for a minute and then looked back and me and smiled.  I was much too stubborn at this point (and age) to smile back so I feigned extreme interest in my book and ignored him.  A minute later, he made his way to my side and hugged me and told me he was sorry for over-reacting and within seconds, all was forgiven.  My world was righted again.

I smile now because I think of all of our absurd little arguments and how so much anxiety could have been avoided if I’d only known then what I know now.  Surely others learn more quickly than I did, certainly we don’t have to be briskly approaching fifty to begin to see things from a broader perspective.

However, watching the younger ones, I see the same silly mistakes, the same ridiculous arguments and I realize we truly do live and learn and that living out these things is sometimes the only way we can learn.  Besides, some of the arguments that seemed to be such a big deal at the time are the ones I look back and laugh about now and actually remember fondly, because of the apologies and the way love has grown through all of this.  We have lots of stories to tell our grandchildren!

So, in a day or two, we will be alone, fishing again and I will have a book and he might lose his patience, but at the end of the day, we will still have each other.  And hopefully, enough fish for dinner.

Me with a nice red

Me with a nice red

The Two Anniversaries

This week holds two special days for me; one is the anniversary of my marriage, which symbolizes a beautiful beginning and the other is the anniversary of the death of my mother which epitomizes an agonizing final chapter in the book of my life.

Since 1996, I have endeavored to honor both dates with all of the respect and enthusiasm I could muster.  The first few years after mom died, it was especially difficult to enjoy my anniversary.  There was that “other” day coming on its heels, the one where the sky always looks the same as it did on that fateful day and details that would be better off forgotten gallop through my thoughts.

As I have grown older and realize the brevity of life and the importance of enjoying it, I often think of how my mom embraced life.

She was a dreamer, a romantic, intelligent and funny.  She lived through some tough things; she lost her mom, her dad, her grandmother and a brother.  She went through a heart-wrenching divorce.

However, if you were to inquire of anyone in my family as to who absolutely lit up a room when they entered; they would tell you quickly that it was my mother.  She is often remembered for her smile, even when in the midst of adversity.

I will never forget the first time she met my husband and how much she adored him.  She said, ‘he’s a keeper”.  I reminisce on the first (sometimes bumpy) years of marriage when I dialed her number seeking solace and more importantly someone willing to blindly take my side.  Although I’m still not sure exactly how she pulled it off, my outlook was often altered by the time I hung up the phone.  She would cause me to look inward, and sometimes identify (much to my chagrin!) when I was the problem.

So, in a strange, somewhat enchanted way, the two days are combined into the fond memories of my mother, the wonderful times we had together; and the beautiful memories of my marriage and the hopes and dreams of many years to come.

There is also the knowledge that she would want me to give my anniversary the recognition it deserves and celebrate it to the fullest.  She would flash that big ole’ smile and give us her blessings all over again if she could.

Once again, my memories, which threatened to take on a life of melancholy this afternoon, have only catapulted me to a happiness that comes from knowing that I have been and continue to be loved and nurtured by some of the best!  I’m sitting here with your smile, mom and happy tears.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Love

My paternal grandparents before I was even though of

My paternal grandparents before I was even thought of

This picture represents love to me, because I know that they survived every storm together.  They honored the commitment that they made before God, and gave us an example of true love and devotion.  Things weren’t always easy, and I’m sure they had days when they would have liked to give up.  But they didn’t.

In these days we live in, where love comes and goes like the wind and people would rather run than fight for their marriage, their example shows that love can survive, in the midst of trials and tribulations and circumstances that come against every couple.

This picture isn’t the greatest quality and photo credits go to my Uncle if I’m not mistaken, but this photo moves me.  I can sense the love between them.

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