Between chasing the kids and making half-hearted attempts to clean up around them, I've been reading a new book today. The book is a collection of short stories (I'm drawn to short story collections lately, in case you hadn't noticed) and is extremely well-written. The stories, though, are all about failed relationships-- divorce, death, loveless marriages, dysfunctional children... all very real, but kind of depressing. This afternoon, as I started yet another short story of a woman who wanted-- needed-- to get out of a bad situation, I started feeling really depressed. Do any of us have any hope at all? I wondered, and feared for myself and for my children, who haven't experienced any real loss in their lives yet. This hopeless feeling engulfed me when I went to meet Chris for a little date.
While I sat with my husband in a quiet place, another couple came in and started talking to us. They were celebrating their 59th wedding anniversary. Fifty-nine years. Isn't that amazing?
Even more amazing, touching, and ultimately quieting to my soul, was the sweet way the husband escorted his wife, the way their eyes glimmered when they told us how they had woken up this morning, looked at each other and said, "well, it's been a nice 59 years."
There are a lot of terrible things in this world, and my children will probably have their precious hearts broken once or twice. But there is also enough love to keep a couple together long enough that the hard times seem like a far-distant memory, and there is plenty of hope.