A Decade = 3,650 days. 87,600 hours and 5,256,000 seconds!
Once we know how to face it, and realize that we have lived through it and still remain standing, it can be life changing.
Loren and I had more than 359,160 hours of married life together and part of that was in retirement for 30 years. We NEVER EVER had enough time. I can’t explain it. I only “know it”.
Geothe wrote, “We are shaped and fashioned by those we love”. I always felt so complete when Loren was there. When I heard the garage door go up, I would go to the door to meet him. I knew he was home and we were together. Our marriage never lost its glow. My pleasure was in being Loren’s wife.
Our final anniversary dinner was 2/14/2008. As we were ordering, the waiter asked how long we had been married. I told him. He thought we had been married only a short while.
One of the satisfying aspects of our marriage was we never let it become “old hat”. One of Loren’s feelings of satisfaction was that he did not have to be the one to always be the one to kindle the fire of intimacy. I believe a husband deserves to know that he is loved and wanted, as much the wife deserves to know that she is loved and wanted. It isn’t always that way in marriages. It was a very important factor for us, in keeping the marriage fully “spiced.” Throw the etiquette bit out the window – satisify your husband. The thrill will never stop for you.
Christmas, 2007, we planned to give our children our portrait. We had windows of time but some of them did not last long and we would have to cancel the appointment. The photographer was so kind to us. After three cancellations, they said when we had that window of time again, simply get ready, call them when we were on the way and they would clear an appointment for us. They did just that! So Christmas of 2007, we were able to give our children the portrait. We both knew it would be Loren’s last Christmas.
It is now June 20th, and at 11:22 a.m. it will officially be one decade without my Loren. That love continued even after he no longer was there with me. It seeped through the lid of the casket as I laid my head gently upon it. It seeped through the struggles and the changing moods of my life. Today – it drips quietly into my life and nourishes my soul.
Life is all about the beautiful small moments not just earth-moving biggies. Great as they are, they do not make up the day to day, moment to moment active love life. It is seeing a rainbow together. It is sitting in the backyard at night together and hearing the whistle of a train off in the distance. Often Loren would comment, “It sounds so peaceful and mysterious,” and I would feel the touch of his hand. He loved to hear trains.
He planned our honeymoon. We went to Banff. We took the train. Beautiful moments were experienced as we heard the train wheels on the track. It was mid minus 30’s and all night long the train chugged along at a slower speed because of the depth of the coldness outside. The meals on board were served on white tablecloths and silver service and the waiters looked so sharp in their black uniforms. As we had our coffee and breakfast, we enjoyed seeing the beautiful Canadian Rockies and our hearts were so full, words did not have to be used – Silence spoke volumes.
Loren always – without fail – thanked me for a meal. It was just part of his routine of life. It could have been a cookie and a cup of coffee mid afternoon, or supper as we watched a Suns basketball game together. Sometimes I would be baking and he would come up behind me, put his arms around me and say, “Boy, that looks good”. I would tell him we would have some as soon as a fresh batch came out of the oven. But always, and forever, the “thank you” would be there.
Enjoy the little things of life because one day you will look back and realize that they were the big things for you.
Loren has walked through a “House of life” and as the front door slowly and lovingly began to close, there was a remembrance of a life of 98 years well lived. I took one last look and noticed four long-stemmed red roses, silently off to one side beckoning for one last glance, one last goodbye and then they seemed to fade out of sight. As I turned, the door silently closed.
As for Loren – in some way he will always be there – – in a thought – – in a storm – – in an expression – – in a sight – – in a desire – – in a doubt – – in seeing something at the grocery store – – in seeing a sunset – – in a help – – in a feeling – – – – in a “silence”.
Two examples: (1) I have had major back problems this week and as I was lying in bed yesterday afternoon, it came to my mind how Loren had one exercise that he did every morning for his back. I started doing that exercise. (2) About a year ago I wasn’t remembering to take my meds consistently. As I stood at the medicine cabinet in the bathroom, I remembered how Loren used to set one of his meds on the counter the night before and in the morning would see it and know he had not taken them yet. Sooooooo. I began doing the same thing. In both examples, he was definitely a part of my correcting my problem(s).
Yes. So true. “We are shaped and fashioned by those we love”
I would keep his prescriptions on hand and his bottles refilled. Always he would thank me for doing that. Maybe it would be over lunch or later in the day when he stopped for a kiss. But always – that thank you would come some way, some how, at some time and the thrill of fulfilling a need was so satisfying. Yip. It was the little, mundane, daily, unnoticed-at-times things that became a life style for us.
There will be other things that will touch my life this coming year. It will be because Loren’s life showed constant, quiet discipline in ways that only now become a part of my life, all because of the quiet impression that was shown all through the years.
My love for Loren never waned. It only strengthened. It has been a journey, whereby I started the love bit at forever and planned to end it at never.
Oil Painting of Loren
Painted by Lia Bardin Bomar, G’daughter