Saturday, July 2, 2011

the way things are

I've been sitting out on our deck, listening to the distant booms of fireworks, a couple of days early, from down toward New Haven.

Bern joined me for a while and we talked about a novel we both just read--a Swedish mystery by an author we've both read before. This one, The Troubled Man is one of a series about a Detective named Kurt Wallenger. We've read all the others and this is the last one. Wallenger is growing old, just like Bern and me--and you, if you are paying attention. Rather than kill him off, the author ends the book--a wondrous book, by the way, I recommend it--he tells us in the last paragraph that the rest of Kurt's life isn't for us but for him and his family.

How wonderful that is.

Every time I talk with Bern I am amazed that we are talking. I met her when I was 17 and she was 14. I'm now 64 and she is 61. That's 47 years we've been together in one guise or another.

We have two wondrous children and three remarkable grandchildren. And we've been together for 47 year, married, come September 5, 2011, for 41 of those years.

High School Sweethearts that have lasted for almost half a century. Astonishing.

I think we love each other more each day than the day before. For one thing, we don't have any illusions, after 47 years, about each other.

The person we love and love more each day is precisely, absolutely, exactly the person Bern and I am. We know who we're with. No secrets to speak of. Or, more accurately, we respect each others' secrets absolutely. They are our secrets and are honored.

No one in the universe knows Bern better than I do. In fact, what anyone knows about her is insignificant and miniscule compared to what I know.

She knows me that way as well.

We still have secrets that we will never share, I don't believe. But that only gives an edge to the 'Knowing' that we have about each other.

It is truly wondrous to grow older with someone who knows you like that--only a tad less than God knows each of us.

Many people don't have this opportunity--mostly for good reasons--but if I were recommending some way to live out you life it would be this: be with someone who knew you when you were a teenager (and all the horrors of that!) and ever since....

Pretty remarkable, I'd say. I like it.

That's the way things are for me and for Bern. It's a joy to grow older together with someone you've know for 47 years....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.