I’ve reflected before about the significant events on June 4th as I reminisced… and reflected about the passage of time since my wife and I were married 19 years ago today. I don’t know that I can be as profound in this post as in the previous two, which outline the fact that you just never know what life is going to bring you, so it’s important to take note of what you’ve got and enjoy the ride.
At present, I’m sitting in a wicker rocker out on the front porch in Gainesville, GA at the home of my wife’s brother. I must say, it’s a nice change from my usual blogging digs. We’re the only contingent of the Canadian branch of the family that made it down here for the wedding of their son, and we’re hanging for a week after the event to do some sightseeing and whatnot. (My wife just informed me that Karla from our ragtag missional mishmash back home says my blog needs more trip updates. The Coke Museum in Atlanta being one such example; today we’re scheduled to be spending time boating on the lake, and tomorrow we’re planning to spend the day at the Georgia Aquarium, since we’re only 45 minutes outside of Atlanta. Should be interesting — at Epcot last week, our oldest daughter walked up to the aquarium and rather matter-of-factly identified the species of sea turtle we were looking at, being the same type of turtle as Crush from Finding Nemo. They have a feature there where they teach you to talk like a turtle, which sounds a lot like surferdudespeak. The most important word in the turtle language is evidently “dude.”
Pictured above, for the record, is the event we call “The Great Turtle Rescue of 2008.” We were driving in the area the other day and were able to add “turtle” to the list of wildlife we’ve seen so far. (We think it’s a box turtle, but aren’t certain because my eldest daughter’s expertise is more in the area of sea turtles; oh, and my kids don’t like it when we tell the armadillo story I just linked.) This little guy was halfway across one lane of the road when we spotted him, and we didn’t want to add him to the roadkill list, so we stopped to assist (those are my wife’s feet and hand in the photo). We do not as yet have an answer to the age-old question of why the turtle crossed the road, but with our help he did so safely.
As for the anniversary, our eldest daughter just turned ten (“A decade! Double digits! The big one-oh!” for the Madagascar fans out there), and next year is one of those round numbers for us as well. Considering what’s gone on for me in the last year, this is an appropriate time to reflect and remember that you really never do know what’s ahead. I’m still the luckiest jackanapes alive, and we’re looking forward to better days ahead.
Being here for a wedding is also a reminder of the uncertain life that unfolds before us. My wife’s brother is ten years older than her, and we had our kids a bit later, so for them, this marks the emptying of the nest as their two boys are now both gone. The two brothers are best friends, and have done some world traveling together. As a result, the wedding party had a void where the best man would normally stand — one brother electing not to replace the other in the party when circumstances dictated they couldn’t be together that day. The best man’s speech was therefore given on video as a surprise to the groom… it was recorded in Iraq where the best man is presently stationed in the US Army. It was naturally a very touching moment for all who know them. Lots of misty-eyes.
Once again, the future unfolds uncertainly. I’m thankful for the time we’ve had together and look forward with hope to more good times. My wife and I keep dreaming of motorcycle-touring holidays in our retirement, but of course, we just never know. It’s important to keep enjoying life one day at a time, being thankful for each one and remembering those around you who help make you who you are, and without whose help you just never know where you’d be today. Who knows, you might be like a turtle struggling halfway across the roadway, blissfully unaware of immanent danger when someone comes to walk alongside and help you out for a ways. You never know where you would have been, but you can be thankful for where you are. Certainly this is why Solomon said, “Two are better than one.” This isn’t always a marriage application, but in the “walking-alongside’s,” at the top of the list for me is of course my wife… and when you read this, wife, thanks — and happy anniversary.