A Beautiful Life

http://randomfootage.typepad.com/ (got picture from here!) I wish I would have taken a picture of them! 🙂

An ordinary afternoon at Starbucks is a moving experience and they never knew.  Maybe I should have told them but how could you share something so deep with a stranger and expect them to stick around in such a public place to listen.  Sitting down in the brown chair and hooking up the laptop, ready to study and ignore everyone around me, an elderly couple sits beside me.  I’ve got the gift of ignoring when it comes to studying, I have to be.  This old brain needs repetition.(If you are young enjoy your youth!  It gets harder!)  This was different.  I could not help but notice them and what they were doing together. 

I had just spent a week of good, healthy, intense conversations with my spouse and written a post of wanting more for our marriage.  (I hope you read that one)  This post, our conversations were burning in my heart and mind.  In comes this 80 something couple.  He helps her out of her scooter chair and onto the brown chair next to mine.  He goes back and forth with coffee and cookies.  He sits down across from her.  They are dressed to the nines like that generation does – no t-shirt and shorts.  He is consumed with caring for her and making sure her coffee is just right, her cookie is good, and “have you eaten enough?”  She giggles and looks out the window at a cab and asks him – “Hey you want to catch a cab?”  He can’t hear her and asks, “What?”  “A cab, a taxi, she yells, Do you want to take a taxi?”  He smiles.  I thought that was probably a private joke and wondered what those two did in a cab or taxi and smile at the fact something so simple had to be repeated a few times for the meaning to come across.  I vowed not to bother them, but just could not help myself.  Those of you who know me well, know how hard that was for me…..

“How many years have you been married?”  She tells me 43 years, but it was their second marriage.  They had both been married before and widowed, and both brought three children to the marriage.  I laughed, and said, “Just like the Brady Bunch!”  She smiled and chuckled, “That’s what the priest said when he married us.”  One thing led to another and she had lived in Chesterfield for a while, her children went to Thomas Dale High School, and we couldn’t believe the connections we had, but how miles a part we were in age so glaring.  She went down memory lane with me a bit, and then looked at me and said, “It goes fast.”  I think of my struggles and how I feel stuck in them, she reminds me of how fast life goes by and all of a sudden you are 80 something.  Her husband smiled and after saying he could not hear well, I caught him up on our conversation.  He smiled and said, “Yea…I was married at 15, and now I’m 83.”  I asked him if it went by that fast for him, and he said, ” Yes.” He asked me what I was studying and other questions about my life.  As they were leaving he came back to me after putting his wife in her chair to roll her out.  He looked deep in my eyes with” more to the story” eyes and said to me, “I used to be a fighter pilot back in the day.  You would never know it now.  Now the hardest thing I do is roll her around.”  In no way was he complaining, only reminiscing, maybe wanting to feel significant again, wanting to acknowledge his love for her…..I looked right at him with deep conviction and tears in my eyes and said to him,”You and your wife are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  I think you are beautiful.” He left asking, “Really?”  I think we both needed encouraging that afternoon.  That’s the cool thing about connecting with others in this life through the guidance of the Spirit, you encourage each other.

I looked across from my brown chair and it was empty.  I thought to myself, what would it be like to be sitting alone, without Parish in front of me, in that chair, just like that man was sitting across from His love.  God, may I treasure my mate and realize the depths of our love.  I could see Parish getting me a cookie.  I could see me, giggling about a cab and a memory. I would bring up all the times we stopped the elevator at VCU where we met to kiss, and start it back up again only to find folks impatient on the first floor waiting for that slow elevator in the business building. Isn’t that funny?!  That made me giggle again….I forgot about that one.  Whatever you are going through in your marriage realize that one day you will be 80 something if God grants you those years, and your mate just might be assisting you out of a chair and checking on the temperature of your coffee.  And, that is a beautiful thing……absolutely, amazingly beautiful.

I remember hearing this song at Ironbridge Baptist Church for the first time and thinking about the “You and I” being Parish and I, and what we were made for as a couple. I was on the phone with him today catching up from our divide and conquer routine with the kids and this song came on at Upward Cheering with Valentina – blaring loud over the speakers.  I started crying and Parish asks what’s wrong.  I sing the song to him over the phone and tell him – I want you and I to discover what we were meant to be in Him.

Sing this song over your marriage…..

Before the day
Before the light
Before the world revolved around the sun
God on high
Stepped down into time
And wrote the story of His love for everyone

He has filled our hearts with wonder
So that we always remember

You and I were made to worship
You and I are called to love
You and I are forgiven and free
You and I embrace surrender
You and I choose to believe
You and I will see who we were meant to be

All we are
And all we have
Is all a gift from God that we receive
Brought to life
We open up our eyes
To see the majesty and glory of the King

He has filled our hearts with wonder
So that we always remember

You and I were made to worship
You and I are called to love
You and I are forgiven and free
You and I embrace surrender
You and I choose to believe
You and I will see who we were meant to be

And even the rocks cry out
And even the Heavens shout
At the sound of His holy name
So let every voice sing out
And let every knee bow down
He is worthy of all our praise

You and I were made to worship
You and I are called to love
You and I are forgiven and free, yeah
You and I embrace surrender
You and I choose to believe
You and I will see, you and I will see

You and I were made to worship
You and I are called to love
You and I are forgiven and free, yeah
You and I embrace surrender
You and I choose to believe
You and I will see who we were meant to be

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