Thursday, May 27, 2010
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO MARY BURLESON AKA BEAUTIFUL
Tomorrow marks fifty-one years of marriage for Mary and me. We're celebrating by taking a pistol lesson together at the firing range. [seriously] We both have pistols but have never really learned to use them. This is NOT in case we get mad at each other in the coming year. [Joking]
When I think of fifty-one years of marriage It's apparent to me the key element in it has to be "God's Grace" because nothing else could explain Mary's ability to hang around someone like me. But it HAS become a gracious thing though not without it's continuing trials and learning experiences.
But were I to try to adequately say what I feel about Mary I would not be able to find the words and that's unusual for me since I'm something of a wordsmith.
C. S. Lewis, about a month after he lost wife to cancer, began writing a journal which became the basis for his book entitled, A Grief Observed. His eulogy for his wife, later put in the book, describes what I would call a truly grace-filled marriage. (p. 39) He wrote it upon the death of his wife but it speaks words I feel about Mary as we celebrate our fifty-first year and we're still together.
C.S. Lewis said...
"For a good wife contains so many persons in herself. What was [his wife's name] not to me? She was my daughter and my mother, my pupil and my teacher, my subject and my sovereign; and always, holding all these in solution, my trusty comrade, friend, shipmate, fellow-soldier. My mistress; but at the same time all that any man friend (and I have good ones) has ever been to me. Even more. If we had never fallen in love we should have none the less been always together, and created scandal by being so."
You will notice the utter inability even C.S Lewis had in stating what his wife was to him since she was everything imaginable. I know the inability.
I will only add two things to conclude.
One is Mary and I have conquered the concept someone called the "stirring of the oatmeal" principle. That's just the idea that some people are able to find together the remarkable ability to transform little mundane events or moments into ones that are enjoyable, stimulating, memorable and just plain fun. What's more mundane than stirring oatmeal unless you discover something unique in it for the two of you? WE DO.
The other is Mary and I have learned to alter an old cliche, "familiarity breeds contempt," into one that says "familiarity breeds respect." So that in the sharing of thoughts, ideas, concerns, [familiarity] respect is learned. It is also learned in shared joys and sorrows and in the struggle to understand each other. Two people CAN, after all, live in the same house for decades without ever being present for each other REALLY. Without ever experiencing a joining or linking of thoughts and feelings, longings and fear, or sharing their failures honestly.
But to be close enough to experience all these things together will soon prove that true respect is NOT saccharine sentimentalism at all. It IS strong stuff. So strong that it is even learned and finds it's way into each person for the other through constructive conflict which is the growing edge of any relationship.
It is because of this respect that wounds can come and hurt for a while but..there will always be that long walk back..to genuine respect and safety.
It takes forever [how about at least fifty-one years!!] for this to become reality. Especially between two people as different as daylight and dark as are we. But we are two people who are learning to walk in true respect and love. I'm glad I'm doing it with you Babe.
Happy fifty-first beautiful. I love you. I'm glad we married because that scandal we would have created had we not married would have hampered our lives a bit I'll bet.