Today, I was thumbing through an old book when I discovered a card my wife had sent to me a long time ago. I wish it was dated, but it wasn’t. I don’t remember the card, but it sure touched my heart today and immediately brought tears to my eyes. Paula must have given the card to me after one of our big fights because it had a little puppy dog on the front with the word “Sorry. . .” written on it. Considering the book it was in, it must have been around 2005.
Inside the card, my wife had written the words to a song by Lonestar. I didn’t remember the song, but lyrics written inside the card reminded me of just how blessed I have been through the years because of this woman who has seen fit to walk beside me through the years. The title of the song, “Let’s be us again,” expresses so much about our marriage, and even about relationships in general.
Anybody who knows both of us knows that we are very different from each other. We don’t have a whole lot in common. However, one thing we do share is an equal love and appreciation for each other. We live in a world where long term relationships are quite rare. We both learned few years ago, when we were going through the worst struggles of our marriage, friends and family are usually not there to help the marriage stick together. Divorce is accepted and even expected even among Christians. As a child of divorce, I personally would prefer death over divorce. We pulled through. We always do. A while after this, I was asked to speak at a church on the topic of marriage which I didn’t feel qualified to do. I wasn’t going to be a hypocrite and paint some false picture of the glories of marriage. The main thing I learned about marriage is that marriage is tough; really tough. But it is also one of the greatest things we can ever experience.
I don’t remember much about what I said, but I do remember how the church responded. They stood up and clapped, and this was not characteristic of that church. I felt like an amateur speaking to the professionals because most of the audience had been married a lot longer than we had. But I think they were clapping to welcome me to the club as a veteran survivor. I had merely communicated what most of them already knew. Marriage is greatness, and greatness never comes easily.
Paula and I still don’t live in perfect harmony. We don’t always agree on things, we have different interest, we still get on each others nerves, and I suppose each of us is still hoping to fix the other. There are times when I wonder if she still likes me. Perhaps she wonders the same thing. Emotions come and go, but I am thankful each of us remains committed to holding this marriage together even if we don’t feel like it. There’s security in relationships like that. We fight, but we also reconcile. I wish others could see the benefits of working through things instead of giving up. I have been incredibly blessed over the years with so much. More than anything else, I am grateful for strong relationships. I have wonderful parents, children, and friends. But more than anything else, I am thankful for my wife. Family is far away. My children have moved out. But one thing has remained over the years: “US”. Can we be us again? We never stopped. Thank you Paula for sticking with me. I love you very much.