CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith for the Years of Winter… ©
Yesterday, Helen and I were in the living room, each absorbed on our respective laptops, or, as Dizzy Dean would have said in his baseball broadcasting days, our “respectable” laptops, as in, “The runners returned to their respectable bases,” when she said, “Oh, happy anniversary.” I was chagrined. I had totally forgotten it was our anniversary. We have both mentioned it several times in recent days. In fact, our daughter, Mary Beth, and her boyfriend, Bill, just spent three days with us to celebrate our anniversary, but when the actual day came, I forgot!
I admitted it. Helen said, “Oh, me, too, but I just noticed it here in an email.”
That, I guess, is the nature of marriage in winter, at least the long-term marriages. One particular day doesn’t stand out from all the rest. “Every day’s a holiday with Mary,” as Burt sang in “Mary Poppins.”
It reminded me, though, of something I wrote seven years ago. I forgot about it, too. Here it is:
We are in the Landmark Inn in Marquette, MI. It is our Golden wedding day. I need to go to the car, to bring in stuff that was too much for us yesterday. And I need to take my walk, to keep my blood sugar even, but I am waiting until Helen is out of the shower. At this age, there is always the danger of falling, especially in unfamiliar surroundings.
That is part of marriage after 50 years, marriage in winter, waiting until you know that the one you love is not in danger.
Love in winter includes a lot of watching and waiting. Waiting for each other. Waiting on each other. And upholding, trying to keep each other from slipping on the ice of the days or in the snow of the nights.
It’s not so different from what we have done all our days. Christ told us a long time ago to look out for others, especially “the widows and orphans,” those with no one else to watch over them, and we have tried to do that. Now, though, we step ever closer to being among the widows and orphans ourselves.
In the days of spring and summer and fall, though, we had energy. We did not need to watch and wait. We could spring into action. We saw a need and we could meet it with our strength.
It is a sad thing to have no one to hold and uphold.
I sat recently with a friend from high school days, those days of spring where the buds and shoots are just beginning to push into the sun and air. His wife of almost fifty years had died just a little while ago. We wept a little, the way men do, trying to hold it back. “It’s hard,” he said, “just so hard.”
It is the way of this life, though. At some time, each of us is alone, either to go on, or to remain, but alone. Why do we invest all this energy and time in these love relationships, including marriage, when eventually we have to walk that lonesome valley by our self? Because we are addicted to the gamble that is love, and as gamblers say, “It’s the only game in town.”
This is one reason I am convinced there is more life once this vessel of clay has returned to the earth. We are being released from a body that limits us for something greater, something more, some sort of love that goes beyond even that we know here. No investment in love is lost.
Every day’s a holiday, so Happy Loviversary!
I tweet as yooper1721.
We did get around to celebrating yesterday. Went to Kleindorfer’s Hardware & Variety store, where you can buy any size of pan lid or dowel rod, or even a scythe, if you’ve a hankering to.