11 September 1965
D and I on the right; Sister #2 and J (now deceased) on the left
It’s already the 4th day of our bedroom and den updates. Yesterday was chaotic, at least for me. Our painters/carpenters got down to the nitty gritty. Translation: lots of noisy pounding, trips up and down the stairs to bring in supplies, and prepping the new den and bedroom ceilings for paint.
This morning they removed heavy old furniture from the bedroom, installed new baseboards and a bookshelf, and who knows what else. Lots of up and down the stairs again, plus sawing and pounding.
Yesterday was our 54th wedding anniversary, marked by the absence of any big celebration. Partly because of tributes to all those impacted by the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks 18 years ago. Sadly, we’ve inherited more problems we never saw coming, and seem to be without resources to address long-term. That would be ongoing fallout from long-term health and well-being issues.
So what about our 54 years of marriage? On the day we married, D and I inherited challenges we never saw coming. So what has it taken to survive and thrive? Here’s some of what it’s meant for me.
- Learning to ask for help from trustworthy people
- Learning to tell D things I don’t want to talk about because I feel embarrassment, shame or humiliation
- Learning to listen to D without jumping in to have my say before he’s finished with his say
- Overcoming my fear of being female in a male-dominated world–without making D the enemy
- Making painful mistakes in my relationship with D and starting over–small steps, one at a time
- Learning, especially now, to let D do what I might be able to do for myself, but don’t have energy to accomplish
- Forgetting about perfection in anything–housecleaning, playing the piano, keeping to a schedule….
- Taking time to be together away from home–Longwood Gardens, the Zoo, church, visiting neighbors and family members….
- Ending each day together, relaxing with Smudge on our laps sound asleep!
All this and more, of course. The bottom line is still the same: Marriage has been hard work and a form of dying. Not in a morbid way, but dying to My dreams for us, My way of seeing D’s world, My brilliant ideas….and finding there’s life in creative thinking together about even the most difficult problems We face.
Thanks for visiting!
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 12 September 2019
Photo of the lovely couples; taken 11 September 1965 in the church basement following our double wedding ceremony; Savannah, Georgia