March 28, 1981.
March 28, 2019.
Thirty eight years. Imagine 38 years. I’m sure some of you reading this aren’t even 38 years old.
Why is March 28, 1981 significant? For most people it’s not but for my wife and me it’s the beginning. On that day in 1981 we went out on our first date. In here, when I shared with others that my wife and I were celebrating the anniversary of our first date I was told I was “silly” and “overly sentimental” and that first dates are unimportant because you don’t know the other person in any measure.
I like being silly and overly sentimental. I think these are good things. While sharing a pizza with my future wife I saw in her something that affected me profoundly that night. At the time I wasn’t able to identify or label what I was seeing and experiencing but I knew right then that I wanted it, and her, in my life. Until recently I couldn’t put into words what I saw and felt that night but I know this: it’s always been there and still is today; I see it every time I look in her eyes.
It’s not been an easy 38 years for my wife. If you were to ask her, and she were honest, she’d tell you that there were many days when she wondered why I was behaving as I was. So many times I abandoned her emotionally and now, having brought myself to prison, physically and financially. I look back today and only now do I understand how she did it.
About a year ago I was lying in my bunk and wondering why my wife stayed with me. As I thought about how many times I’d hurt her I just couldn’t come up with any rational reason for her to stay. So I wrote her an email and asked for just one rational reason for her commitment. I asked for only one because I didn’t believe that any existed. And her reply? Ten. She sent me ten rational reasons. I was truly humbled. And why did she send ten? Because that’s how she’s made.
Because it’s part of what I saw 38 years ago.
I’ve been reading the Bible cover to cover again. Not too long ago I read the book of Job. It made me think about how alike Job and my wife are. So, on March 28, 2019, I sat down and read Job again and it was then I realized what I saw in my wife-to-be’s eyes all those years ago: I saw Job.
How do you summarize Job in a few words? Maybe you use patience, perseverance, and faith. The three things she needed for a life with me. Of course, at the time neither of us could envision what life together would consist of. I believe God blessed me with someone who had the patience to wait on me, the perseverance to get through the trials I’d put before her, and the faith in both me and our marriage to hold on. And obviously, He blessed her with strength beyond compare.
As for me – how can I express how easy it’s been to be married to her? Think of sunshine, blue skies, gentle breezes, bird song, and waves upon a beach. That’s my life with my wife. Many would say I took advantage of that and she and I both know that’s true. I will forever regret that. I hope she can find a place in her heart to believe me when I say that. I hope she understands that I won’t ask her to be Job again. Yes, she will need patience, perseverance, and faith in measure but we’ll share that and she won’t be alone in it all.
I’d like another 38 years with her. She’s remarkable and who doesn’t want to be with someone remarkable? In 38 years I’ll be 94 and she’ll be 92. Can we make it? I pray it will be so. I love her intensely, and crazy her, she loves me too. How much luckier can two people be?
I hope you find your Job.