We’ve been members of and active in three churches. In the last church, I was on the visitation team. I loved visiting our shut-ins and people who just needed a friendly visit. Most of those I visited were on the elderly side, generally, 80 and older. I relished the wisdom they shared as we talked. Several of them said things to me that I’ll never forget and some I want to model into my old age!
One very dear man was bordering on depression. He had been such an active and very giving man. Always wanting to help others. He also used to do visitation, but now, he was the one in need. As we talked about his days growing up on a farm, he said he wished he knew he would live to be so old. He would not have played so hard and jumped out of the barn as much as he did! He had bad arthritis of the knees, rendering him nearly unable to walk on his own. He was being light-hearted, but it was sage advice for younger people. And guess what? I now am suffering a bit from arthritic knees, in part from my days of running long distance in cities, where I worked. So on concrete. Not good. I’m so grateful for modern medicine that keeps me able to walk and hike!
Recently, we’ve begun to accept the fact we are growing old, and how nice to do it together! We thank God every morning He restored our broken marriage. We know not everyone is able to re-marry after a divorce and we know many who have suffered through a divorce. For them, we pray the Lord brings them healing and opportunities to grow from the experience. It saddens us when we read articles, like one recently, that claims divorce doesn’t really “harm” adults or their children. I know too many adults who have some sort of issues because their parents divorced. We both grew up in tumultuous households. I don’t know about Bill, but I prayed a few times my parents would divorce. It was really bad….so I understand. In fact, we have several relatives who are divorced. We’ve been there, we understand the heartbreak.
That’s why we like to share what is going on in our marriage. It forces us to live what we “preach!” We are applying the very scriptures and principles we recommended when asked to serve as guest bloggers from my young friend in India, Arpita, who also has a travel blog, but also a second blog on more personal matters, It’s Arpita’s Life.
We are both blessed to have longevity in our families, as well as long-term marriages. In spite of the tumultuous nature of their marriages. Both of our mom’s are still alive, Bill’s mom is age 94 and my mom is age 92. My parents made it to 54 years of marriage before my dad’s passing and Bill’s parents to 48 years. While neither marriage was like Ward and June Cleaver, at least they stayed together through thick and thin. And in the end, it was wonderful to see both of our mom’s being there for our dads.
At the beginning of our marriage, our rocky home lives made us want to make sure we weren’t “like them.” We were young and dumb….Now that we are old(er), we see how wonderful it was they were together in the end.
We celebrated 40 years together this year, so we have not only seen our parents growing old and old together but now we are doing it! And we HIGHLY recommend it. Sadly, not every marriage lasts and this is our passion, to do what we can to encourage couples to make their marriages last. Not just last, but to be the BEST possible marriages.
Like most couples who marry, we liked each other’s looks. In fact, I love how another fellow travel blogger, talked about their marriage, how they fell in
lust love! That’s usually how it starts, the initial attraction. We recently cleaned out the remnants of our former household belongings. In doing this, we came across our photo albums, the oldest 40 years old! Looking through them, Bill asked me who was this woman sitting on his lap? He didn’t recognize me! Oh, we have changed so much. And that is the dirty ugly truth about growing old, you lose that youthful appearance, beautiful tight skin, flexibility, stamina, etc. You fill in the blanks.
But the beauty of growing old together means you don’t really notice it! Unless you look at a 40-year-old photo album! What we really appreciate is how we can both have mercy and grace on each other as we age. For example, we are both facing a few aging issues. And since we are both going through the aging process, it is so nice to be kind to one another. Case in point, Bill’s knees began to bother him for the first time ever. My knees actually need a good walk EVERY day. But since I knew he needed a day or two off, I was respectful towards him and didn’t push him to go walking with me (its more fun). And I could stay at home with him.
So the moral of this post? To take care of yourself in your younger years. And what is a good way to do this?
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own…. 1 Corinthians 6:19