Beautiful Ride

The somewhat self-indulgent rantings about the beautiful ride that is my life!

We’re All Stories in the End… April 29, 2014

Filed under: beautiful ride,Family,Home,Married Life — beautifulride @ 3:00 pm
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Once-Upon-a-Time-photoDo you have favorite story, one that you would read over and over and over again?  One with characters and a plot and a message that speak to your very soul. I know I do. My favorite story, like so many stories, begins with “once upon a time.” It’s an adventure tale, for sure…full of drama, laced with comedy. It’s set in a few exotic locations, it has quite the cast of supporting characters, and even has a few chapters that I would have liked to skip over…sometimes boring, sometimes sad. But at it’s core, it’s a love story…about a boy and girl…who met and fell in love and got married and built a life. A crazy, wonderful, beautiful, amazing life. And even though it’s not finished yet,  I can tell you how it ends. It ends like so many of my favorite love stories. How do I know? I know because it’s our story, mine and Rick’s. It’s the story of us. And today is a special milestone in our story…a milestone that shines like silver in the sunlight…a milestone 25 years in the making.

It’s hard to believe that it was 25 years ago today…almost to this very minute…that we stood there in that church, in the presence of everyone who loved us the most, and promised to do just that. Love each other the most. For 25 years, he has been my rock. My best friend. My heart and my soul. For 25 years he has given me the greatest gifts I’ll ever receive. And I don’t mean diamonds and pearls and vacations to faraway places. Yes, I’ve been given a diamond or two. Yes, I’ve been given a strand of pearls. Yes, I’ve been whisked away on an adventure now and again. But I would take those pages out of my book in a heartbeat, because while they are fun and shiny and very much appreciated, they aren’t really the things that make a great love story great.

What makes a great love story great are the quiet moments between the big events. The way he laughs when you can’t tie your shoes because your pregnant belly is in the way…and then he gets down and ties them for you. The way he reaches for your hand during the Christmas Eve service because he knows that every year you are weepy with the ghosts of Christmas past. The way he brushes the hair from your face and brings you a cold beer when you’ve been working in the garden all day. The way he wipes the tears from your eyes when your babies leave home, and quietly reminds you that you’ve done a good job, but it’s time to let them go. The way he’s willing to work with you, and for you…and the way he smiles at you and says, “all I need to be happy is to know that you are happy….”

Twenty-five years is a long time. And yes, there have been dark days and raised voices. Moments when I shake my head in disbelief that he still hasn’t mastered the laundry and can’t quite remember the kid’s schedules. And I’m sure days when he winces at the passive-aggressive way I handle anger and disappointment, and days when he wishes I loved cooking breakfast or maybe even wonders if I’m ever really going to cook anything again. It would be crazy to believe that in 25 years there hasn’t been hurt and anger and frustration. Every good novel has conflict and resolution…but what makes our story a great story is that somehow, through all the crazy ups and downs and challenges that we’ve encountered, we’re still here. Still filling in the pages. Still writing new chapters. Standing together, hand in hand, just like we were in that church 25 years ago. A little older. A little wiser. Still crazy in love with each other. Still promising to love each other the most. I knew after 25 seconds that I wanted to be a part of his story, and I’m beyond blessed to know that after 25 years, he still wants me to be the leading lady in his story. And if I could live 25 lifetimes…or 50…or a million…I would still want this story to be our story. Good times and bad, challenges and successes. Laughter and tears. And love. So much love.

This is our story. And even though it’s still being written, I’ll let you in on a little secret. If you skip ahead to the ending, it goes something like this….”and they lived happily ever after. The end.”

 

 

Pistol Annies ~  I Hope You’re the End of  My Story

I hope you’re the end of my story

I hope you’re as far as it goes

I hope you’re the last word I ever utter

It’s never your time to go

Sometimes this road that we travel

Feels like it’s leading us on

Spinning our wheels just stirs up the gravel

Before you know it, it’s gone.

I hope you’re the end of my story

I hope you’re as far as it goes

I hope you’re the last word I ever utter

It’s never your time to go

I’ll keep on turning the pages

Oh what a story to tell

You’ll still be my sweetheart when everything ages,

We’ll be the last book on the shelf

I hope you’re the end of my story

I hope you’re as far as it goes

I hope you’re the last word I ever utter

It’s never your time to go

I hope you’re the last word I ever utter

It’s never your time to go

.

 

 

To Have and To Hold April 29, 2012

Filed under: beautiful ride,Family,Home — beautifulride @ 9:11 pm
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Once upon a time, a quarter of a century ago, I ran into a handsome young man in a local parking lot. Circumstances being what they were, we struck up a conversation that seemed oddly comfortable right from the start, like being near each other was something that had always been.

A year later, the handsome young man asked me to be his wife. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life, but oddly enough, it didn’t come as a surprise. Because just like being near him seemed like a comfort and a joy that I had always known, marrying him seemed like a given…a foregone conclusion…the only possible end to the story that started one year before.  Don’t get me wrong here. This is not to say that I took the handsome young man’s proposal for granted. I did not. Even at the tender age of 22, I knew that life was always waiting to throw you a curve ball, to keep you unbalanced in some way so that you might never get too comfortable, never get off your game. But way, way down, in the deepest recesses of my heart I knew. I knew that he was the one for me. The sun, the moon, the stars, and all of the beautiful fairy tales combined. I have always been a believer of “when you know, you know….when it’s right, it’s right.” Not once, not even for a moment, did I have to think about my answer. Not once, not even for a moment, did I have to stop and wonder if I was too young or too secure or financially ready to get married. Not once, not even for a moment, did I have to think about whether or not I was ready to spend the rest of my life with one man…with this man.

Another year later, the handsome young man stood at the front of a beautiful church. He stood there waiting…waiting for me. Waiting for me to walk down the aisle and stand beside him. Waiting for me to join him…to be one with him….to have and to hold from that moment on, always walking together, moving forward together, living our future together.

Has it been hard sometimes? Of course it has. Has it been frustrating sometimes? Of course it has. What I have learned in the past 23 years is that marriage is work. But so is anything worth having, worth nurturing, worth holding on to. I’ve learned that it always requires a 100 percent effort…it’s just that sometimes one has to be willing to give 95 percent and only take 5, and then before you know it you are getting 95 percent when you only have a little to offer back. It is working together, loving together, facing the hard and the ugly and the mundane together. And if the commitment to moving forward together is there, then the rest falls into place and the rewards are so sweet.

Twenty-three years later, the handsome young man is still the sun, the moon, the stars and all of the beautiful fairy tales combined. He may not be as young as he was then, but then neither am I. But he is surely as handsome, maybe more. And he is smart and funny and kind and a great dad. And he has blessed me with four more handsome young men. And I see him in them.  And that makes me so, so happy. And when I look into his face,  I can see worry lines from the times that were tough and smile lines that are the sweet reminders of all the times that we laughed. I look into his eyes and I see my handsome young man, the one who has grown with me and learned with me and loved with me. I fall into his arms and I am home. All of these years later…with my handsome young man.