Monday, May 18, 2015

Spouse First!

A few weeks ago I found an article and started my own post to share my own thoughts and feelings on the subject.  I didn't take time to finish that post the same day I started it and have now returned to complete it.
Here is my post, beginning with the article I found that inspired a response to it.

Why I'll Always Put My Husband Before My Kids

Further searching led me to another great article about putting spouse first.

4 key reasons why it matters to put your spouse before your children  (Just saying - this is awesome!)

Reading those articles reminded me of Terry and me.

I will never regret the times we sat next to each other instead of letting our children sit between us, sitting next to him at the table instead of at the other end of the table across from him, walking down the sidewalk together with kids around us instead of between us, sitting in the car beside each other instead of one of us in the back with the kids (except when we had a student driver, of course), and also not letting the children in our beds with us (that was learned quite quickly after very few attempts when little ones were ill - it just wasn't worth it).

When we went to Seattle for Terry's transplants it was suggested that I take turns with others to be his caregiver, but we couldn't even consider that route.   There really was no other way for us - being there together was just the right way to handle it - and I am so glad we chose that way.  We felt bad that neither of us were with the kids, but we were doing the right thing.  Life is full of difficult decisions and requirements.

The first article I read closed by saying this;
"In a few years, our son and daughter will leave our home and when they do, I want to celebrate a job well done with my lover—not sit in a quiet house with a person who has become a stranger as a result of years of quietly drifting apart."

This is what I wanted too, but we all know that it didn't get to happen for me like that.

My dream of sitting out in the yard beside my husband, holding hands, enjoying the beautiful scenery, which would include our wonderful family around us, is no longer a dream I can create in this life.

The reality of that crushed dream is precisely another great reason I am an avid believer of  always put your spouse first.   It might be over sooner than you thought and you want no regrets. I do not regret the times we were together, putting each other first.  Sure I have regrets and could think of several if I let myself dwell there, but that is not a very fun place to go, so I try to avoid that place.

I do however need to admit that we did miss a few moments because I felt I had too many little children to spend too much time away from them for husband / wife trips.  We had talked more than once about the fact that we made up for that with our Seattle times the last few years, but I do miss that we didn't allow that to happen earlier in our lives.
I thought we would be able to do that later in our lives - I didn't know then what I know now.
(Let me also say that I do still believe that husband / wife trips can be abused and happen too often for some. It might turn out different for those who loose a child too early and spent all of their time off on business or pleasure trips.  That sounded wrong - surely too early is any time.)

My time with my husband wasn't long enough ... it was over too soon!
But I am deeply grateful for the time we did have together!   The time we spent married was maybe half the time we wished for, but Terry has indeed become a real part of me and I, even with a few regrets, do feel that our relationship was a "job well done".  What a blessing he has been in my life, and I believe he will yet continue to be a blessing in my life.

Just as Helen Keller said;
What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.  
All that we love becomes a part of us.

personal photo of gift we gave to Terry's mother a few years ago, that made it back into our possession

Our love grew through the years and I keep praying that it will continue to grow.  After all, there will be many changes made by each of us before we meet again.

And for now my children and grandchildren can sit on either side of me without concern of steeling it from their father or grandfather.

Someday we will be side by side again and I look forward to that with great anticipation.  Will I get to hug him and kiss him and sit next to him and make up for lost time?  Will we have so much to tell each other or will we just know those things somehow?

The reuniting, however it takes place, will no doubt be glorious, and there will certainly be an overflowing of love and admiration.

The second article I mentioned above closed with information testifying of this
"When your marriage is going well, it improves every other part of your life."

That has to include the rest of my life too.
So, on that note, I end with a grateful heart!


Becky Noftle said...

Great advice

Ellen said...

As always, my dear sister, you share so much tender food for thought. Thank you. Wonderful reminders!