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Just Reminiscing

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By RetiredVermonter
January 8, 2004

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Most (but not all) folks in here are probably "down the road a piece", like me, or are contemplating being there. As we start a new year, I got to reminiscing about years past (the good and the bad), my marriage of many years, kids, grand kids, and all of it. For the most part, it's been a great ride, and I hope many more years lie ahead!

It has been observed that the real test of a marriage comes when the going gets rough, not when everything is warm and fuzzy. In our case, we always somehow ended up figuratively standing there, back-to-back, fists up, so to speak, saying "C'mon, you bastards. You want ONE of us? You'll have to take us BOTH down, together!" And when we came through whatever it was, the bond was a little bit stronger than it had been.

There were rough times, like having little or no money; job losses; finding ourselves buried in debt and having to work our way out; sicknesses (ours, the kids, ailing parents); deaths of parents; and countless other stresses of all kinds.

However, the joys have far outweighed the bad! So many years of supporting one another, in everything either one did; the births of children; Christmas mornings with those little ones; sharing kids' interests and ups and downs, and the many minutiae of their lives as they grew; college; and, something very special to me: walking each of my two daughters down the aisle on her wedding day! (Talk about powerful feelings!) And then grand kids. Ah, yet another unique experience!

Now, happily retired with my soul mate of many years, I have to say that, after all the blood, sweat, and tears of raising kids and surviving in corporate life (I think Dilbert's world has ALWAYS been that way), it feels awfully good to be up here on this mountaintop, looking out our picture window at the snowy trees below and the mountains off in the distance.

Is this Thursday? Oh, yeah, I guess it is. No matter. Maybe we'll have some tea or hot chocolate, or maybe even champagne. Whatever we like. Maybe we'll light a fire in the fireplace at noon or whenever, open up the convertible sofa, get cozy, with or without clothes (!), and just plain enjoy the view. No neighbors, no kids, no phones ringing, and nobody around to hear whatever words we utter or sounds we make. Later, maybe we'll just pull up a coverlet and doze off, still all wrapped up in one another.

I never made a lot of money, and never will. I probably could have done better in the corporate world, but I've always been too independent to kiss others' butts or "play the game", and, as Sinatra sang, "I did it my way."

Who's really rich? That powerful executive in the office, hollering at a subordinate or perhaps sweating out some deal to make himself another $10 million, on top of the $120 million he already has? Or simple me, smiling and happy as I doze off in my lover's arms?

Somehow, I think I know. Life is not just about money. Yes, enough is good, but financial riches? What for?

I feel grateful and blessed. If you already have each other, treasure each other, and take time to be good to one another. If not, I truly hope that this will be YOUR year to find that special someone with whom you, too, can enjoy the universe. If you've lost that special person, I wish I could offer a warm hug to reassure you and maybe somehow help you get past the pain and look forward to the future.


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