Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Love Story

Pulling in the driveway from dropping my niece off at vacation bible school I saw Shirlee (my mom in law) in the window smiling, I exited the truck and she opened the window waving good morning.   My brother in laws parents live directly across the street from him and my sister, every day he gets to look at the house he grew up in, how cool is that.

Jim & Shirlee
I grabbed my coffee and headed over to spend some time with two people who have become my own Mom and Dad in so many ways.  I love these amazing souls, they just bring joy into the lives they touch.  Jim, my brothers father is an organic gardener and blesses us with fresh veggies from his garden that I cook up for the family while down here on my summer vacation.

Yesterday morning would turn out to be more special than I anticipated.  I had no idea when I walked across the street that this day was a day to celebrate, this day marked 63 years of happy marriage for Jim and Shirlee.  I sat with them over the next couple of hours while they shared the last 63 years with me.

Through all the details and answers to my many questions about love and holding onto that spark for so long what impacted me the most was the look in their eyes when they talked about it all, the tear that welled up in Jim's eye as he talked about her, the sparkle in Shirlees eyes as she talked about him.  The gentle caress of her hand on his arm as he shared parts of what loving her all these years has meant to him.  It was truly moving and I was so blessed to share this moment with them.

Blushing Bride 63 Years Ago who is still blushing today!
There were lots of laughs too and I would suspect there would be after being together with one person so long, after all if you cannot laugh together how could you stay together.  When I asked Jim... What would you say was the biggest secret to making your marriage work all these years, he replied... "I kept my mouth shut, I learned that first!" We all laughed loudly together.  Jim, reminds me so much of my own grandfather, always has a joke to bring laughter into your life, I just love that about him and am quite sure Shirlee does as well.  When I asked her what she thinks was the biggest thing that has kept them together all these years she replied... "you just don't get upset over the little things, for example the coffee grinds, he always leaves coffee grinds on the counter every morning.  I could get bothered by that or the dirt on his shoes when he comes in from the garden, but he loves coffee and he loves gardening, and I love him.  So I just clean it up and think about how much I love him, you just can't sweat the small stuff."

You just can't sweat the small stuff!
Oh how right you are Shirlee, you really cannot sweat the small stuff, I mean how important is it?  Pet peeves are not an affliction, they are a choice.  Why would we choose to let one thing bother us that much.  I loved listening to them share, and thought about times in my own life that applied to this all and reminded myself that when love comes into my life again that I am going to remember these valuable tips shared with me on this day.

Her beauty, inside and out!
When I asked Jim, why Shirlee, what was it that did it for you in the beginning?  He smiled so big and said... "her beauty, don't want to sound shallow here, but man oh man she was the best looking gal in town, best in her class at school, she was a looker and still is.  She has held her beauty over all these years.  But what kept me was her inner beauty, I might have noticed her outer beauty first, but her inner beauty was what kept me looking at her till this day, she is so beautiful inside and out.  But just to give you an idea of what a looker she was at a Lawrence Welk concert she was pulled right out of the audience to dance with him.

I asked Shirlee the same question and she replied... He was so thoughtful, always has been.  He can do anything, fix anything and will make sure he does just for me.  He has always taken such good care of me and never once failed me.  I saw his body posture fill with love as he listened to his beautiful wife share these thoughts about him, he smiled at here and they held each others gaze for a moment that felt like a life time of joy.

It was two of the best hours of my life, just being a part of this moment of celebration of love.  I felt so gifted by this that I insisted they come over for dinner and cooked up one of Jims giant zucchinis, stuffed it with other veggies from his garden and made a big salad.  We all enjoyed celebrating the day together last night and ended the night with love and hugs, I watched them as they walked out the door and still saw that love glowing in them both as they left.

Love is alive were the thoughts in my mind as I thanked God for giving me this amazing day and allowing me to be a part of this beautiful love story for this moment.

I love you all from a place of knowing that love is not ownership, it is a commitment to love the things about each other that make each other who we are.  And a place of wishing you all the love in life that your heart desires.

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