Through The Years

Yesterday we celebrated Valentine’s Day.  A day to show that significant other how much we care for them.  Yes, I know, I’m a day late, but I believe this is one holiday that carries over the entire week.  And, you guessed it – I am the forever hopeful romantic.  I’m the one who believes the romance must continue to burn to keep the clock ticking on a relationship, no matter how long someone has been married.  I write women’s fiction, but with strong romantic elements, and again it’s probably the eternal romantic in me.  I trust that love and affection are like the four elements of nature; earth, water, air and fire – we, as humans cannot survive without them.  Our Creator designed it that way.  Many times it’s difficult for us, (my husband and myself) to look back at the years.  Quite a few couples that we started out with have gone their separate way, quite some time ago now – while with us, we’ve just become certain either one of us could not get along without the other.  I think the longer you’re together, it kind of comes to that end.  For sure, after the long stretch we’ve put in, I can again, only now say with confidence, our meeting way back when definitely had ordainment written all over it.

What keeps two people together through the years – while others seem to lose interest shortly after the vows.  I think a lot of it has to do with integrity.  I’ve mentioned this before, it’s about doing the right thing, and I don’t mean staying together as a miserable couple, because divorce is wrong under any circumstance.  What I mean is, we so quickly forget, we don’t have to answer to other people – the number one person to worry about is our Creator; the One that sees all and knows all.  I also believe a person does what they have witnessed over time; repeating the cycle, so to speak.  Take a gander back at your parents, your grandparents.  Did they have staying power?  My parents were separated by death – so were my grandparents, but after forty-three years, and the same holds true for my husband’s parents.  I think something has gone wrong with the act and sanctity of marriage.  Maybe, many times, the woman is so caught up in her childhood dream of lace and flowers that she forgets everything else.  Or maybe the guy wants so desperately to have a family.  I don’t know, but please believe, if the relationship is not working out or if you’re questioning the amount of time you may be able to spend with the person you’re with, simply forego the altar; one must have faith that another – the right one – is farther down the road.  Because, you see, when there is real love, it’s power will never mislead.

We as adults are quite a long way from handing out candy hearts in grammar school.  But, maybe you’re with the one you did hand a sweet heart to in the tenth grade.  If that’s the case, then you really deserve a trophy – talk about a fairy tale.  I always thought it best, two people should be from complete opposite ends of the earth, if you will.  Not someone that lived down the street or around the corner, that would also include someone you went to school with, because that puts them in your zip code, if you know what I mean.  What I’m getting at is, shouldn’t there be a “little” mystery about the person you spend your life with?  How romantic is it to remember all the people coming and going from his/her house?  Even if the visitors were spending time with their brothers or sisters.  Does that make any sense?   But, don’t get me wrong, that high school love is wonderful, yet rare; like teaching, where it takes a special individual to make it work.

What does it take to make a marriage withstand time or any curve-balls from hell thrown by the enemy?  How can you know right up front if your meeting has been pre-ordered?  I’m sorry, I wish I could give the solid answers for which so many are searching.  Actually, that resp0nse may require the assistance of the Archangel Gabriel or at the least, the “Long Island Medium.”  However, there are three things that make the top of my “to do” list – respect each other, let a lot of things roll off your back (pick your battles), and the word “Perfect” does not exist.  Okay….how about that? Do you think that’ll get you to at least year ten?

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Integrity

I appear stuck on some tough topics this week.  It’s a funny thing, today’s subject naturally flowed into the context of my last post, Peacemaker.  In searching the meaning of the above word, I noted Webster’s College Dictionary’s description as: Integrity – “Uncompromising adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.  Even though the word is much more, I like to think of it simply as honesty – if I tell someone I’ll meet them wherever, I don’t disappoint.  When I promise someone I’ll bring them anything, no matter how stupid, I deliver (note: this is with the exception of forgetfulness due to senior moments).  On the more complicated side, the word drums up images of trust, loyalty, respect, ethics, morality and truth.  Watch an old movie, and the characters are closing a deal with a hand shake.  That’s how people handled things back then, and for whatever reason I have noticed many people appear to have gone the long way around to avoid doing the right thing nowadays; as though they have forgotten the meaning of the word.

I don’t think it is that simple though.  As parents and grandparents we want to teach and set examples for our children.  We are usually always careful in the messages we send, because to teach one thing, yet do what we want is hypocritical, and that is also an impression we don’t want to create in the eyes of our youth.  I’m certain we all know, they watch that as well.

I remember my first real lesson as a young mother.  I had a Sesame Street album on for my daughter.  Yeah, remember those?  I specifically recall saying to myself – why do I have this on, she is to busy playing with something else.  I don’t have any idea at this point what held her attention, but I decided to leave the record on regardless.  About one week later she repeated something to me, specific of that recording; clear message to me, they are always listening, and watching.

Okay, getting back on track.  At one point in my life I never gave a second thought to backing out of something or just saying no, simply because I didn’t want to be bothered at the time.  I began realizing along the way, doing that may have probably hurt someone.  Thinking about it now, I wouldn’t want that done to me.  I don’t know about anyone else, but stupidity, many times, served as my middle name as a young woman.  Yes, one does learn over time.  Keep in mind, we don’t want to get caught up in the “can’t say no” thing – that’s an entirely different topic.  What I’m talking about here is agreeing to do something, and then reneging.

And lastly, I have heard it argued that integrity is an internal trait, meaning only I know whether or not I have this quality.  While this may be true to a degree, for the most part I think that’s malarkey.  If around a person enough, how could one not know? I think all of that is left for some double-talking politician.  A neighbor, co-worker, book club member, critique partner, whoever, will say – she/he has integrity issues or they don’t.  Since this is as important to me as a good name, I think I’ll take the narrow “Honesty Highway,” thank you very much.  Please, leave your thoughts.

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