Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Bride and the Missouri Boy

After growing up in Germany, Inga met her beau, an American soldier. She describes life as "traveling the world together with love and the Air Force". He calls their life "decades of delight and duty". Now in their last years, she and her Missouri boy have "settled in to homing" in my neighborhood. She grows flowers, watches turtles on the lake and stretches her mind. She laughed, then added, "And it takes a lot of time and work keeping my Missouri boy out of trouble! He's a rascal."

Blue eyes in his tan face sparkle with zest for life as she talks. A mischievous grin is partially hidden underneath his white mustache."My bride's a wild thing," he tells me, adding to their story. "But she keeps up with me ever' where I go. She always has. I s'pect she will for the whole way."

They were laughing together over some shared secret as I watched them climb into their car and drive away.  Two hours later, I am still smiling. Without a word of advice, they reminded me of the happiness that living with someone for a lifetime can bring.

It's harder than you think it will be. Most things are harder than you expect them to be. It takes longer than you think it will to build a strong enduring friendship. Most things take longer than you expect. It costs more than you expect in time and effort as well as dollars and that also is true of most things. 

"Growing old together" is still a good way to travel through the world. Walking alongside someone, working through the hard stuff and being a witness to someone's life is still a valid, valuable choice.

"I like being with him," Inga told me simply. "He's a handful and so am I, but we've made a difference in the world. And we did life better because we had one another to hang on to through thick and through thin."

No comments:

Post a Comment