Friday, February 13, 2009


When I first met Christine, I sang her love songs. It’s true. It embarrassed her but I was okay with it. I brought her flowers. I wrote her poems. She still has a couple of them, poems that is. That was 43 years ago and we have been married for 41.

I am retired, at home all the time. I emphasize that because home was my haven and Christine’s domain for all these years. I always had a work environment to which I went for several hours each day.

Christine told me today that I need to relax and loosen my grip and stop trying to control things. It’s not me she is speaking about is it? After running a 150 church denomination for six years and being a lead pastor for 34 years could there be any truth in her statement. All I can say is that it takes one to know one. Through all the years of my focus on career and ministry and other peoples’ issues, the substantial part of home care and childcare was done by Christine and believe me she is a hands on manager. We are both A types and that makes clashes over preferences and opinions inevitable. So they happen. That disturbed me for years. Here I was, this preacher of piety yet with marital abrasions. I recall a couple of receptions for weddings which I officiated, at which the bride or groom spoke glowingly about parents who had never been heard to argue. Guilt washed me like a torrent. Well we have been married for 41 years now so you know we have it sorted out, right? Not! We have learned to make the necessary concessions to enjoy one another, to understand one another. Vacations spent in the car and on the road have been marked by differences of opinion and we learned to concede that “today I will be the wimp and tomorrow it’s your turn”. It works. A couple of other things work as well. Always saying sorry. Makeup hugs. An abiding love that doesn’t want to allow the other person to be hurt – at least not for long.

She's still my valentine and I bought her flowers the other day. Beats doing it on Valentine's Day when the prices are spiked. I sing her love songs too, just like Neil and Barbara did. It's a great duet with tender sentiments which yield the surprise that one wants to say goodbye to the other. But I will never tell Christine goodbye. She's got my heart locked up.

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