Endings… and beginnings… and songs that heal the heart

“Did you know we have a song?” he said.

We’ve never had “a song.”  Not even when we got married.  We didn’t have the dance.  You know, the big reception with “the father” dance.  That pivotal moment when one symbolically dances with their daddy to a song that says “thanks for raising me up and loving me best” and then he gives you to your new husband to dance to a song that says “you are my everything and now we get to be happy together forever”… we never had that moment.  Which is weird because we dance all the time in our home, mostly to music that is just in our heads.  “My Dave” (that’s what i call him) will walk up to me at any given moment and take me in his arms and start dancing with me, asking, “don’t you hear the music?”  The kids think we’re old and crazy.  And maybe we are.  If this is what old and crazy is, then i’m all in.

“What song?” I replied.  “Is it the one I sing sometimes… Forever and for Always?  It’s not really “our song”though…”

“No.  It’s the one I chose for us.”

This took me by surprise.  My non-musical husband that loves to dance with me, has given me a song after 30 years of marriage?  We were in the car.  He was driving.  Our youngest was in the back seat, oblivious to our conversation that was taking on new meaning for me. One of those moments that attaches itself somewhere deep inside, becoming so significant, so meaningful, so nostalgic, that it would take months for me to realize how important this was.  We were on our way home from Midway, Utah to Riverton, Utah after a weekend at our favorite resort with all the kiddos and grand kids.  I love this drive home, full of countryside, and prairies, and mountains, and quiet, and blue sky, and peace, loads of it, before we encroach on Salt Lake City with all its traffic and busyness and distraction.  He reached over and hit a button on the dashboard, and the song he chose for me started to play.  And my eyes filled with tears as the song described us perfectly.  Years of struggle, financial and health, years of clinging to one another through thick and through thin.  A kidney transplant, a baby in NICU, a troubled pregnancy, decades of being as poor as church mice, education, building a career, owning a business, losing a job, building a home, remodeling a home, moving our teens away from everything they knew. twice.  So many years, so many experiences, some great and some not so great.  Endings.  Beginnings.   Constant change whether we liked it or not.  Even our current challenges of hospital stays and long recoveries at home, all of it defines us, refines us, makes us into what we are today, which is… deeply in love and committed for all eternity.  We’ve made it through.  With our love and our faith in God in tact.  Really.  I stared out the window as he drove in silence, watching the mountains and the prairies and the farms roll by as I listened to the song that became “ours.”

People tell us it isn’t possible to live thirty years with someone without fighting.  We’ve had our disagreements to be sure, but fight? Nah, not really.  Neither one of us likes to fight, so if we really disagreed we had more of a cold war than a war.  Our kids have only seen a serious disagreement once, and i’m not sure they remember it. Mostly they just gag and yell “gross” as we flirt and kiss in front of them.  The thing about “cold war” (which incidentally is when you just don’t talk) is that you don’t say things you later regret.  So there is no bad blood between us.  No need to “make up.”  No words to take back.  We just come back together as if nothing happened.  For us, it’s a grand way of life.  We don’t really disagree on much either, to be honest.  Our opinions of the important things like family and religion and living day to day, are pretty much the same.  Things like how to decorate the house (i’m good at) and how to budget the money (he’s good at)… well, those are things we don’t see eye to eye on, but we still manage to make it all work without any problems.  How?  We’re committed!  Never has it crossed our minds that we’d want out of our marriage.  We’re a team.  And the harder the problem, the harder we work together to solve it and make things work.  We seem to just know when to defer a problem to the other.  Like when the girls cry and slam their door shut (you know from ages 6-16).  He usually says something like, “I don’t get girls… she’s all yours.”  And I know just what to do.  Or when the boy kicks a hole in the wall.  I’ll say “lucky I didn’t clock him before you got home from work, he’s all yours.”  And hubby knows just what to do.  Or when thing one and thing two decide to put a new art feature on the wall with sharpies.  When he hears me say something like, “ohhhhh, you better pick up your butt and run!”  he stops me and they live to see another day.  Synergy.

Team work.

We each give 100%, not 50.  We do our best to keep our priorities in order… God, Family, Country.  We work hard and we play hard.

And we laugh.  

Laughter is the best medicine.  Besides, most of us have lived long enough to learn that even God has a sense of humor.  That’s how we roll.  So when people don’t believe that our marriage could be that good behind closed doors, well, now you know it really is.  And when you create a marriage like this, it’s possible that even in the midst of debilitating trials (and we all have those), you can still have joy.  It’s worth the effort.  A successful marriage is work.  It doesn’t just happen.  But if you’re as committed as you say you are on wedding day, then you’ll create something perfect.  Something eternal.  Something worth dancing about.

Thanks for the song, my love.

Us with the grand babies

Us with the grand babies

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