The picture at the left is one that was taken twelve years ago, of my husband and I, half-way up to a place called... Crystal Falls (I believe). Although it was taken with a "point and shoot" camera, and it is a little hazy, it is one of my favorite pictures.
Hazy. That's what memories are often like. The bad memories become dull, the pain more distant. The good ones seem to be bathed in a halo of light, much like this picture to the left. I have memories from my childhood and beyond, that still inflict pain. I have beautiful memories, also, which are intertwined with the bad, yet are still a part of the pattern of the whole.
Nothing fills my heart with more joy, than reminiscing with my husband about our past, especially our first meeting. What did he feel? What did I feel? Then we try to capture the moment of our first discovery and falling in love. Because of how we both were, and still are, our children were included as an integral part of our beautiful whole. Neither my husband nor I took our love lightly. We didn't leap ahead to the finish line without careful thought and mountains of prayer.
I guess prayer, to a lot of people, seems silly these days, but I believe it is the strong thread that was woven through the tapestry of our lives with one another. We've both lost part of our families, by choice, so that our marriage could grow in a healthy, peaceful environment.
So, we have lost some; but what we have gained is worth more than all this world can offer. We have gained a freedom, by God's grace, that we had never known in our pasts, and we have seen our children grow into women of faith, fortitude and happiness. This could never have come about, without the grace of a loving God, who asks only that He be held first in our hearts.
When I met my husband I knew more about what love was not, then I did about what love is. Oh how handsome he was when he walked through the door. I could tell that he was a real man, and I hadn't the slightest idea what that meant. But now I know.
A real man is a gentle man; yet he can fight fiercely for what is right, without using his fists. A real man loves children, and he is not afraid to make a fool of himself, just to make them laugh. My husband taught our girls how to throw a Frisbee. He played on the jungle-gym and merry-go-round. He played cards until his eyes crossed, and he played board games until he could barely remember his name.
A real man speaks his mind and listens with his heart. He knows who he is, what he believes, and why. A real man puts his ego last, and he doesn't confuse pride with self-respect. He is respectful to everyone, especially women, and he can be trusted like no one else.
A real man takes care with his thoughts, his behavior, and his motives. He is cautious, yet he gives willingly. And when he came into my life, at just the right time, he stole my heart with all the goodness that he was and still is.
A real man is faithful, in thought, word, and deed. He laughs readily, almost as though he's been waiting all day for the punch-line. I think I fell in love with this aspect of his personality, first. A real man may be afraid of commitment, but once he gives his word, it is forever.
So, you can see that I am rather fond of the memories that my husband and I have made through the years. I visit them often. And at night, when I gaze over at him as he sleeps, I thank God, simply for the life of this man, who has given so much life to me.
Father in heaven. Thank you for the life of my wonderful man. Thank you for his heart that is so true. Thank you for his deep, green eyes, that crinkle so readily when he smiles. Oh, how I love the way he looks at me, as though, in his whole life, he has never looked upon anyone so lovely. And that is the greatest gift of all.