Today is our 25th Wedding Anniversary. It doesn't seem possible. I have spent more of my life being married than not being married...wow.
I recently read about a play in which a girl was allowed to choose one day of her life to relive.
It got me pondering which day I would choose. I asked Bob which day he would choose. He doesn't like questions like this. They make him skittish. I think he thinks I have a "right" answer in mind and if he comes up with the "wrong" one, all hell will break loose. I persevered and he finally came up with a day he thought he would like to relive. He chose our wedding day. That happened to be the wrong answer. It was not a good day, it was filled with tension and Fiddler on the Roof music (and I hated Fiddler on the Roof). Sadly, being the spineless little people pleaser that I was, I let everyone else decide almost every detail of my big day. My sweet Aunt Janet came up with some ideas for songs and after she read me some oh- so appropriate lyrics, I went with the ones she suggested. I was horrified when they started belting out "Sunrise, Sunset" at the rehearsal. Why didn't someone tell me the songs were from Fiddler on the Roof??? Well, it was a little too late to change anything by then.
Bob said he only chose that day because he wanted to go back and change everything so that it would be a wonderful memory for me. I told him that part of the "rules" were that you couldn't change anything, you had to relive it just as it was, so he needed to come up with another day. He wouldn't. I put a great deal of thought into which day I would choose for myself. I told him I would like to relive the day he first told me he loved me. It was one of the happiest days of my life. Truly. I could hardly believe that Bob Staples loved me, of all the girls that had a thing for him (and there were many), he loved me! It was very intoxicating. It probably wasn't such a stellar day for him. His avowal of love was met with total silence on my part. Finally, I just embarrassingly buried my face in his neck. I was such a goof. Months and months later I finally mustered up the courage to tell him I loved him, too (even though I'd been hopelessly in love with him for almost as long as I could remember).
If I had gotten a peek on my wedding day into all that was going to transpire in the next 25 years I probably would have done an about face and marched right back out of the church (or rather pranced out accompanied by that silly Fiddler on the Roof music). How fortunate that God doesn't let us see into the future. Because if I had walked out I would have missed out on experiencing the miraculous ways He has healed our marriage, making us stronger and more dependant on Him than ever. I would have missed out on seeing how tenderly, totally and selflessly Bob has loved all of us. I would have missed out on seeing the special love Bob has for Brett and how he has never viewed him as anything but a gift from God, with a special purpose. He considers Brett the "glue" that has bonded us together. Bob has never complained or resented the fact that we will be tending to Brett's every need for the rest of our lives...this in spite of the fact that we get absolutely nothing back from him...not even so much as a smile.
Since those first early days of dating Bob, I haven't been able to envision a life with out him, I still can't. Like the words of that old Barry White song, he is "my first, my last...my everything". Happy Anniversary, Babe!
Sunday, December 13, 2009
When Dane was three years old I ordered him a Batman costume from a catalogue. As soon as I opened it I realized that something had gone terribly awry in the assembly of the mask. It was so tall that you could have fit two heads in it. One of the ears was straight up while the other one was almost stitched flat. Dane didn't recognize the strangeness of it and could hardly wait to don the whole get up and pretend he was Batman. I wanted to throw myself on the floor laughing after I put the mask on him. Of course I didn't. Dane raced around the house, cape flying behind him, fighting off his imaginary foes, and generally just having a rollicking good time....until he caught a gander of himself in the hall mirror. I could tell by how still he suddenly got that he was stunned. I could see his little eyes looking through the mask taking in the whole ridiculously freakish picture that he made. This was not Batman. And the Batman game was definitely over. I realized it was actually a good thing that he got a glimpse of himself in the mirror because it would have been infinitely worse to let him get laughed at. Let's face it, if his own mother could hardly keep a straight face, he wasn't going to fare well with the general public. Our Brett has hydrocephalus and when he was born his head was already way bigger than it should have been. As the days progressed it just kept getting bigger and bigger, until finally it was imperative that he undergo brain surgery to have a shunt put in. Because his head was so abnormal looking (and still is to some extent), I became fascinated with the variety of heads out there. For one, I had gotten so used to Brett's large head that every normal infant I saw looked like a pin-head. There they all were...the tiny headed, flat headed, huge headed, pointy headed and lumpy headed, all out and about and doing just fine, thank you. Bob and I both realize what a blessing it is that Brett is blissfully unaware that he doesn't look or act normal. We are very thankful that we never have to worry about his feelings getting hurt, because let's face it, nothing hurts quite so much as seeing your child get hurt. Especially the emotional hurts. Most of the time, physical hurts heal and the pain is temporary, but being mocked and rejected often leaves life-long scars. We can't kiss away these "boo-boo's" or put band aids on them. We can't protect our kids from the inevitable sorrows of life, but we can trust in the One who loves them more perfectly than we can. Jesus told us we would have troubles, but He didn't stop there, He said, "but take heart! I have overcome the world!" (John 16:33). Someday "He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain" (Rev. 21:4), until then we have been promised that "He who is in us is greater than he who is in the world" (1 John 4:4) and that we can be "more than conquerors through Him who loves us" (Rom. 8:37). Everything that takes place God uses to take us to the place He wants us to be. He doesn't waste any experiences (Rom. 8:28), not the broken hearts, the crushed spirits or even guilt and shame. How very thankful I am for our "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6) that promises to never let us bear anything without Him.