Chapter Fifteen

Our married life has been like a Charles Dickens novel. The opening paragraph of Dickens’ novel, A Tale of Two Cities begins:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

The two cities referred to are London and Paris during the turmoil of the French Revolution. There have been periods of turmoil in our marriage. Indeed, the best of times and the worst of times, belief and unbelief, Light and Darkness, hope and despair, seasons of plenty and the lean seasons.

Times as described above are common to everyone and anyone in a relationship. The question is, how do you deal with the changing times? How do you deal with different personalities and traits? How do you determine to stick it out “for better or for worse” portion of the vows? How do you “stay” when our society so easily allows us to become disillusioned, unsatisfied and then grants us a judicial writ for dissolution of marriage?

I am not saying that divorce is the unforgivable sin. Indeed not. Sometimes when something is broken it is time to “discard” it. By all means, if you are in an abusive relationship – get out. Get out now. This is my second marriage. The first one lasted four and half years. This one has managed to survive thirty-six years. How did that happen? Especially when evaluating life, we are basically selfish human beings who prefer to have it “our” way. Yes...the Burger King mentality.

We have our moments! We discuss (that’s code for debate… argue…) issues. Sometimes that ends with me establishing the right to “remain silent.” Yes, the silent treatment and eyes that can roll expressively. Fortunately, we don’t become violent but we do have great discussions! We don’t always agree on issues. In fact when it comes to politics we generally cancel each other’s vote out! We also agree to disagree agreeably.

What we do have is respect for each other and a strong abiding faith in Jesus Christ. But that hasn’t always been so.

This life, not unlike your life, has not been a ‘happily ever after’ event. It has been one of blood, sweat and tears. Yes, tears, lots of tears.

Tears are magnificent. They have a baptismal quality.

Tears can miraculously transform into the oil of joy, and wash away the ashes of mourning. 

Words that comfort me are these from Psalm 56:8, via the Message - 
"You’ve kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, Each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book."

I have cried. He has cried.

We have cried individually. We have cried corporately.

We have cried in anger. We have cried in love.

We have cried through prayer.

We have cried in pain and sickness.

We have cried through the pain of loved ones making catastrophic choices.

What we have determined is this: Life is tough.

I want the light to overcome the darkness and some days are very dark.

We have determined that love is a choice.

When I open my eyes from sleep, I roll over and look at him sleeping. I make an active decision to love him this day. And only for this day. Tomorrow, I will do this again. And the next day, and the one after that, too.

We don’t always agree. Our lives combine and run over each other and we have debates that spill over at our dinner table. We both believe that even with God’s Word as the final authority, our individual thoughts and beliefs are wholly sanctified, even if not holy.

I believe in Eucharist Theology.

I believe like the Eucharist, our hearts, like the bread are made to be broken and yet loved in all that brokenness.

We should live our lives as the spilled wine, allowing ourselves and our lives to overflow, spill out and come into contact with those who desperately are thirsting.

I feel the pull, an actual pull to become involved in community justice issues. To pour the oil, to bind up the wounds. To quell the brokenness of community, of our community.

Yes… brokenness… and still I am so filled with broken hallelujahs.

Life can be gritty. Life can be dirty. So can love. And love is a choice. It is a tangible act of volition. It has been said that “love covers a multitude of sin’ but as I see it, grace covers the many pitfalls of love.

Yes, grace. That unmerited favor we don’t deserve but is granted. In my faith tradition, grace is threefold – not unlike the Godhead.

My health is good. I am currently cancer free. I will be having PET scans and appointments with my oncologist every three months for a while. I did have a questionable sleep study so another has been approved by my insurance carrier and I will have that in December. My daughter and SIL will be coming to visit then, too. I am very excited about that!

I have a new great grandson! He is beautiful and perfect. My arms ache to hold him. He is my first great grandchild. I am so proud of his Momma, my granddaughter. She did everything right during her pregnancy. My daughter says that he (her grand, my great grand) is “an old soul” who quietly observes his environment. Welcome into the world, sweet baby boy, welcome into the world.

I love how life continues on even though we have cause for concern about the state of current events in our world. It provides a glimpse of hope for the future.

Until the next post, I remain,


Tamara