Remember When

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Like most married couples, Crystal and I have been through a lot in our marriage. Over forty years we have loved and laughed, fought and cried, raised kids, and done for family. Now that our nest is empty it’s just the two of us again.

Last week we went on a short but quite pleasant get away to Savannah, Georgia and Charleston, South Carolina. The old south came alive for us. Between the old world architecture, civil war statues, forts, and cemeteries with trees dripping with Spanish moss and ferns, it made me think of “Gone with the Wind”. The pace was also so pleasantly slow. And don’t get me started on the food. I’m afraid I’ll drool on my keyboard thinking about it. OK, just for one example, I had a blackened fish sandwich that was so mild and juicy it was difficult to eat. It was the catch of the day. Outside the restaurant was a small pier where the boat delivers the freshly caught fish and the table where they were cleaned. As we ate, we even caught a glimpse of some dolphins playing nearby.

We haven’t gone on many vacations lately so this was a special time for us. I couldn’t help but remember times early in our marriage. Our honeymoon in Arizona was Crystal’s first plane flight. On the other hand, I had flown numerous times, including three trips to Europe. It is common that people who only start using air transportation later in life suffer from fear of flying or Aerophobia. Crystal, on the other hand, had and has always had the far less common phobia for airports. O’Hare in Chicago, at the time the busiest airport in the world, was probably a bad first choice; with people everywhere darting to and fro in a multi-cultural mass of humanity. To make matters worse, at times I had to leave her. I placed her in a chair while I got tickets, checked luggage, got seating assignments, etc. She did as she was told though she resembled a deer in headlights. Once through the, at the time, far less stringent security, I got her a nice fruity drink. She finally calmed down for the flight. Of course, eventually we landed in Tucson. The drink had long since worn off and the terror returned. Again, I had to leave to get our rental car. I left her surrounded/ buried with our luggage. She looked like a nervous prairie dog looking out of her hole expecting to see a hawk. When I finally returned, I grabbed her hand and took her to the window. We had left an ice storm in Chicago. It was now eighty degrees and sunny. The cactuses were in bloom. She finally relaxed.

The point is that, regardless of her deep seeded fears, Crystal’s trust in me has always exceeded it. This trip, some forty years after that first one, we were in three airports each way with transfers in Atlanta. While the fear is still not totally gone, I can tell that if anything Crystal’s trust in me has grown. Even when temporarily lost, while looking for our hotel (another of Crystal’s fears) she was perfectly calm and confident. When I told her it would be alright, she believed me.

We both really relaxed and were at peace for a few days. Crystal was healthy and walking everywhere. Somehow I believe that this was God’s way of reminding us why we were together in the first place. Once all of life’s responsibilities and distractions are removed, and it’s just the two of us, everything makes sense.

From a marriage point of view the lesson, of course, is never stop taking time out to be just a couple. Whether it’s a nice vacation, a weekly date or a walk to the park, if you are not making an effort, you are missing out. I firmly believe that, if you are not growing together, you will grow apart.

Ahhh Savannah.

Category: Make Marriage Last

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