I decided tonight was a great evening to go out in the backyard for my evening meditation. The sun was beginning its descent, and the temperature was perfect. It was warm, but not hot. The hummingbirds and butterflies were dancing around the honeysuckle plants. It was a beautiful meditation, but as it concluded my legs began to itch.
I was only outside for a few minutes. In that short time, my legs were attacked by mosquitoes. I came inside to assess the damage and apply cortisone cream on each welt that was forming. As the bites continued to swell, I knew I was going to have to take Benadryl.
Todd left for a fishing trip today and will be back about the time this post is published on my site. I hesitate to take medication, especially if it will make me drowsy when I am home alone with Emily. I am vigilant and want to be alert and sober if there is an emergency. Fortunately, Justin arrived home not long after my brutal bug attack. I got Emily ready for bed and proceeded to take two Benadryl.
As I sit here trying not to scratch the plethora of bites on my legs, a memory from our honeymoon popped into my mind.
Twenty-nine years ago Todd and I got married. My dad passed away when I was in high school and his birthday was September 6th. Todd’s dad was a barber at the time and did not ever call out sick or miss work for any reason. We looked at the calendar. My dad’s birthday in 1992 fell on a Sunday. We took that as a sign that Sunday, September 6th, was the perfect day. We would honor my dad’s day with a wedding, and Todd’s dad would attend. Win. Win.
We had an unusual ceremony at a jazz club. We were married by a Wiccan warlock (not sure if that is the correct term of 2021). Our wedding party was quite diverse, both ethnically and religiously. Our vows were to love each other as long as our love shall last. We had a lot of fun with those vows over the years.
The next day we flew to Cancun for our honeymoon. That September was extra hot, humid, and full of mosquitoes. The first night we had dinner on the beach. By the time our beautiful sunset meal ended, my legs began to swell. I was covered in bites on every exposed inch of my legs and arms. I did not travel with Benadryl back then, and I honestly did not know that was a solution to reduce the swelling.
Todd was sweet. He made a vow that he would find medication to treat the bites. He was not going back to the hotel until we found someone to help. Eventually, we found a drug store. We purchased a bottle of calamine lotion and then back to our hotel.
It was late when we got back to our hotel. I ran a cool bath to sit to get the swelling down. Afterward, Todd helped dab the disgusting lotion on each bite while I cried. I thought I had ruined our entire honeymoon. I kept apologizing for messing up our trip. Todd just comforted, consoled, and calamined me.
We have been together for 36 years and married 29. It is funny that we sometimes forget the very qualities that attracted us to each other. Todd is compassionate and loving.
The years have not all been easy. I keep a card from Todd taped to my computer screen. It reads:
I know it has been a rough few months, or year, or maybe even decades,
but you will always be my Valentine. I love you very much…Your Husband, Todd
That sums it up. We have had our share of rough years and decades. Maybe more than some. I think very few marriages could survive the challenges we have faced. There have been times when we want to throw in the towel and quit. I think what makes a marriage work is not quitting.
I read this recently on social media (full disclosure I am posting this myself today on mine).:
“A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.”
How have we made it work? How has our relationship lasted for 36+ years? There is no magic or secret sauce. The answer is simply not giving up on each other.
We both have just refused to quit. Again and again and again.