Archive | August 2014

Personal Reflections-Been with the same man for 50 years!

Today is my 50th wedding anniversary. Yes, in a time when people change their spouses as often and in some cases more often than their underwear, I have been with the same husband for 50 years. This isn’t exactly a brag, well I guess it is because I feel special.

Was it easy you might ask? No, it wasn’t because even loving someone more than life itself does not keep you from having tough times and times of loneliness and questioning times about all your decisions.

But in spite of the times that were less than perfect, underneath all, there was always love. We cared about each other and for the most part showed each other the respect we each deserved. You rarely show respect to another person when involved in a heated argument and those happened. What can I say? We are not perfect, but very human. With heritages like Italian and Irish in our background, what do you expect?

We eloped when I was 17 and Dan had just turned 19. They said it wouldn’t last, but we were in love and have been for all these years. I guess over 50 when you count the previous four months when we first met. It was almost love at first sight, but we each wanted to be sure I think. Still, we met in April and married in august and no babies were on the way. That happened about 2 years later. We just had to be together, there was no question about it.

What is our secret? I don’t know if we have one. We communicate pretty well and we respect each other. Dan knew when he married me that I was opinionated and a bit feisty. I was never a ‘yes man’ or woman in this case. I respected him and in important things would usually submit, but not in everything. I have always fought for what I believed was right and so did he so that sometimes was a problem when we differed in opinion.

We tried to never go to bed angry and tried to resolve most things before we left the room or slept. We compromised, but that was hard to learn. Sometimes, when we were very stubborn, it took time for either one of us to say we were sorry or wrong. But, eventually it happened and things were great again.

Our marriage was filled with challenges, health issue, money problems, but always love. I could not see me with anyone else and never met a man I wanted more than my own. We were not saints, but clung together with a vengeance. We each were what made the other complete and together life was bearable even when difficult.

Above all- you must love each other with all your heart and soul. You must have patience and lower your expectations as to the fairy tale we all grew up with, sometimes marriage is like that, but more times marriage is just life.

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Some personal reflections – Mom is gone to be with the Lord one year ago today!

My mom has been gone one year already today and the pain seems just as keen and the loss just as sharp as it was a year ago. We spent many of our last years estranged, but my love and caring for her never stopped during that time. I have prayed for her every day since I first learned how to pray as a child.

The memories have been even more strong this past year since she has been gone. I find myself occasionally smiling at a memory of a time when she was too naive or simplified an event way too much. One time she told us “we better hurry before it closed”, to get to a shop that was open 24 hours a day.

I remember how my mom passed on her love of special occasions and holidays and always made them good even when there was little money and everything had to be created by hand. When I was in grade school, mom made me a Little Bo Peep costume almost entirely of crepe paper. It was really very creative and beautiful.

When my son and daughter-in-law had their wedding reception there were many special memories that day, but one I recall best was the way my mother beamed when I asked if she wanted to dance with me. Her smile was like the sun just came out. A joy and innocence was part of that smile that was rarely seen as she got older and medical problems increased.

I remember the huge platters full of Christmas cookies with too many varieties to count that she shared with everyone who visited. They all got a plate full to take home. Her super high chocolate cake that no-one could resist and her country fried steak that almost melted in your mouth were just two of the special foods she prepared.

Mom and I spent many afternoons having tea and her giving me practical and loving advice. We sat in super clean rooms and her kitchen cabinet boasted cups and saucers standing at attention in a specific order. She still could put you at ease even in that environment

My father used to laugh at mom wrapping everything in plastic bags that was put away for even a short time stating he believes she had stock in those plastic companies. She was very methodical in the way she did things and thought things should be done in certain ways and very slow and carefully.

She cared about everyone and was at more family death beds than anyone else I know. She nursed those who were in ill health till she could not even help herself very much. Took in those who needed a place to recuperate or just recharge.

She was a good person and is and always will be sorely missed.