Despite our busy family schedule, we work hard to schedule a weekly date with each other away from the home. Sometimes we are so busy that we get away for only an hour. Occasionally our date may include such mundane tasks as running errands. But we make it a priority to get some time each week just for the two of us.
One afternoon a couple of weeks ago, my wife and I enjoyed lunch at a decent downtown restaurant. I enjoyed the atmosphere and the fare. It is our habit when we eat out to sit next to rather than across from each other. That was not possible on this occasion, since we were seated at a table that could accommodate only two.
As we relaxed after the meal, we held hands across the table while our server processed our bill and payment. We eventually stood and I helped my wife don her jacket. My Mom taught me as a teenager to always help my dates with their jackets, to treat them with respect, to open the door for them, and to otherwise act gentlemanly. She made it clear that this was to carry on into marriage.
As we made our way toward the door, we passed our server, who was busy helping bus a table. I stopped and asked if she would give my compliments to the chef for the dish I had enjoyed. It had been quite delectable.
The server surprised us by telling us how much she had enjoyed watching us dine. She was obviously sincere as she expressed how wonderful it was to see two people together that "like each other so much." She said, "It gives me a lot of hope." It gives me joy to think that our example might have given someone else a glimmer of hope.
My wife and I wed a respectable number of years ago. I recall how much I enjoyed spending time with her during our courtship and during the early years of our marriage. I still enjoy spending time with my wife. If anything, I find more fulfillment now in being together with her than in our early days together.
We have been through a lot together. Our bond has developed a depth and strength that simply wouldn't have been possible without our many years of shared experience.
My wife is a remarkable individual. She is a beautiful woman, even in middle age. She is intelligent, thoughtful, and spiritual. She is devoted, loving, and service oriented.
And she is enduring. My wife has put up with my many foibles and idiosyncrasies throughout the years. When I have faced trials, or even perceived trials, she has been there supporting me and alleviating as much stress as possible. In short, she has put up with me. Lovingly. Kindly. Patiently. Endlessly.
It is impossible to imagine what my life would have been like had my wife and I not (miraculously) come together when we did. It is impossible to adequately express my gratitude for my wonderful wife. I pray that we will yet have many years together and that our love for each other will continue to deepen and strengthen.