"It doesn’t matter what is behind you as much as it matters who is beside you."
~ Ellen ~
"Laced with Grace"
When I was all of 10 or 11 years old, Maybelle Morris and I headed up the aisle of a little southern Baptist church, deep in southeast Texas. I’m pretty sure they were playing “Just As I Am.” I’m pretty sure because 99% of the time that was the song they played til somebody “came on down.” Later, at the age of 25, I more fully understood what I’d begun that day. At 25, I was divorced and remarried, the mother of two little girls. I’d lived enough life by then, made enough mistakes, done a bit of growing up. Quite a bit. At 25 I understood how important my decision to be a true Christ-follower was, and made it fully. I’ve stumbled, strayed, straggled behind at times, but I’ve never looked back. It was the best decision of my life. The most important one.
The second most important decision was to spend my life on earth with my husband. While some may find it irreverent, I’ve always called him “my second savior.” I always knew there was something different about him. He was soft-spoken, a good listener. He was not showy, a true gentleman. His respect for women was shown rather than spoken, as was much of what he believed. I respected him before I ever loved him. Then I loved him, with everything I had.
I’ve wondered, as life has carried us together for over 25 years, where I might have ended up, if not for him. He has loved me fully, respected me, treasured me. He has enjoyed me, challenged me, set me straight now and then. He has shared with me his dreams, his deepest fears, his joys, and everything in between during those years. Our time together has grown me into the woman I am now, and I do not believe I would be a shadow of who I am if not for his presence in my life.
He raised our first daughter as his own, although she came with me as part of the package. He loves her with as full a love a father can possibly have for a child. He slugged it out with me through the joys and challenges of raising a houseful of children, as they grew into teenagers. He put them through college, and gave his daughters away. He was the best man for our son, which speaks volumes to me. I watch him with our grandchildren, and see the full circle he’s come; a long journey from 25 years ago when he was thrown head-first into parenting. Baptism by fire it was!
As we begin to plan for retirement together, as I see that coal-black hair that has turned silver, crinkles around his eyes, and a bit of extra padding, it intensifies for me the love I feel for him. He has given me his best, all he has. When I look at him, I still see the oh-so-handsome man I fell head over heels in love with. What I treasure is knowing he had one journey on this earth, one mate to spend it with, and he chose me. That will always be the highest honor of my life. Irreverent or not, having “my second savior” beside me, that has made, still makes all the difference.
posted at 7:00 AM