Friday, June 27, 2014

marriage letters: comparison

dear pjm-
so the task at hand is to compare our marriage to something else.  an analogy of sorts i suppose.  i first thought i could compare it to darius rucker's song "might get lucky" because it was all of those things that you did during the day for me & our family that would lead to a glass of chardonnay after the kids were put to bed.  but that's kind of mushy & causes a little blip on the "sexy time" meter which makes me blush so we won't go there.

then i thought of the circus. our marriage was not like the circus that pulls into town for three performances and then loads up to perform at the next little city.  i am talking about the barnum & bailey kind that your uncle ron worked for.  you know, the kind with a lion trainer snapping his whip as the lioness leaps gracefully thru a flaming ring-a motorcyclist riding his honda inside a metal sphere-a clown bursting out of a cannon along with enough confetti to fill time square at the stroke of midnight on new year's eve. but then there is poop & straw from the animals that has to be cleaned up & programs & popcorn littering the sports arena floor that have to be gathered and tossed & crying, overtired children that have to be drug to their cars.  that's not the kind of marriage we had.  no, it wasn't ever one that left a trail of debris, clutter and exhaustion.

our marriage was bold, yet warm and safe and comforting, like a panini.  layers & textures all with their separate qualities gathered gently and placed one atop of another.  two slices of hearty bread stuffed with chicken, provolone, roasted veggies, and pesto-the outside of the bread, brushed with olive oil & placed in a heated sandwich press where each of the individual flavors lost some of itself in order to create a culinary comfort food. with the right ingredients, it's not just a sandwich but a delectable meal pressed within two toasted slices of bread.

and that was our marriage.  a slice called pjm & a slice called chrissy.  two hearty souls rich in texture & contrast.  children were added along with careers and passions and commitments.  the warmth of emotions & love challenged each element to give up a piece of its individuality in order to meld into this beautiful & messy thing we call our marriage. the olive oil of God generously coating us, sealing in His goodness while protecting us when the heat and pressure of the world grew with intensity.  yes, love, our marriage was the perfect panini.  homey. comforting. a blend of you & me that satisfied the hunger in one's soul.

ciao bello & love you-

the inspiration behind this post is from "marriage letters" by seth & amber haines.  they are taking the summer off because she is busy writing a book which i am excited to read.  my daughter, amber, wrote a post about marriage being like the movies, but better.  click on her name and read it! i write them to remember the preciousness of my marriage as my husband lets go of his grip on health & life due to a terminal illness.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

single one...

i hear it often…"you don't have any idea what God has in store for you".  and there is so much truth to these twelve little words.  dementia was never something i thought our family would be asked to wrestle with, but we have and we are.

there is a tender, bite-size topic i face & today i have an opinion which feels like it will last my lifetime.  singleness.  spending the remainder of my life without a mate at my side.  and you want to know a little secret?  i am okay with that.  it seems the world gives the message that in order to be complete, one must have a mate.  and i did.  and he was amazing.  like over the top-take me on exotic getaways & give me a new car over lunch & throw an amazing, surprise 4-0 birthday bash {11 months after my birthday-but that's a different blog post}-kind of marriage.  and those memories make me feel complete in my aloneness.

marriage is sometimes like a romance novel, but it is equal parts messy.  if you are taking it seriously, it quickly becomes complicated.  and when hearts are involved, being deliberate and intentional are essential for healthy relations to take root and grow into something beautiful.  and true beauty comes over time, years of nurturing and investing, while letting go of "me" for the sake of "us".  and maybe what remains of "me" is enough.  in fact, better than enough.

my marriage was like a few bites of decadent, chocolate cake, so rich & satisfying that it doesn't leave me craving the entire cake or even another slice.  instead it lingers in my mind as the most delightful dessert ever-just a warm memory of delectable chocolate-y goodness. that's what my marriage feels like-satisfyingly rich.

and maybe that is why i am okay with singleness.  my marriage:  it didn't break.  it didn't wander into another's arms.  it didn't busy itself with work & children.  it started our small. a promise over two slender, gold bands that grew & was nurtured by two people that deeply loved & respected one another.  it grew with children & making traditions that will linger through generations.  together we found faith & God & church.  its roots stretched themselves deep into the soil of our family.  and while i stand without him at my side, i feel complete.

and those nay-sayers are right, i have no idea what God has planned & i don't begin to understand His ways.  but my marriage cake has filled my longing and "me" feels like enough.

Friday, June 13, 2014

father's day…

the days have gotten all hot & sticky in my mind.  one melding into another like gummy bears left on the blazing summer sidewalk.  a rainbow of juicy colors.  identifying one single bear is impossible in the rainbow messy of the heat.  the red of dementia is intertwined with the orange of sweet brown eyes moving up to middle school interwoven with the green of pjm jr. graduating from college this weekend. and it all becomes convoluted by the yellow of father's day.  my emotions are just this sticky gel of joy-sorrow-pride-longing.

i am struggling with picking apart the gradient of this rainbow.  what fraction of all of this is dementia.  how do i find the percentage of grieving red when there should be overwhelming joy in the culmination of orange & green.  and yellow screams at me that it is fading faster than all of the other colors.  and i want to scream back at father's day that we did not have enough.  never enough.  time is of limited quantity & invaluable.  and i can't sell back all that is dear to have him returned to us.  how i long for the wit & wisdom of the father of our children.

but he taught them {and me} to be brave & bold.  and to forget about the numbers and do that which you are most passionate about and it will be rewarded.  to love your marriage and squeeze it tighter than your children even when you would rather lay on the nursery floor in anger at him falling short of your expectations. grasp each day as if it were your last and pack so much living into those 16 hours ahead. when done right,  every cell of your being will scream for a restful night.  talk to strangers & make them friends even if only for those few moments in the starbucks line.  each encounter has a nugget of wisdom that will make your soul richer.

happy father's day pjm.
longing to have you at my side as we celebrate our children's successes.
your heart would burst with pride-mine is.
i pray somewhere in all of that dementia, you know you are an amazing dad.
each of your children is evidence of both your boldness & bravery.
p.s.  cheers over a g&t with a lime