Well my cup runneth over this morning, after celebrating 50 years of marriage with my friends Edith and LaVerne Tripp last night. Their sweet family threw a party fit for a king and queen (and why shouldn’t they) and invited the king and queen’s court, and we celebrated with them. Now you see, I know LaVerne and Edith’s story. The road wasn’t always easy. But here’s the difference. He stayed. She stayed. As I often say, they didn’t own a pair of “walking” shoes. Most of us that have been the recipient of another person’s choices feel a bit cheated at times like this. Those walking shoes are commonly purchased and worn without thought of the consequences. I have a friend who put up with many years of “bad” behavior, only to be abandoned as she approached her 50th birthday…a VERY good friend. So, hey…it happens!!
Now, that was the little paragraph for us divorced, been thrown to the curb crowd. Now we have the widow/widower group. These folks must wrestle with “why me” syndrome for years not months….without true grace and mercy, they will walk away from God. But the good news is that somehow….I have no clue how this can actually happen, but somehow that peace that passeth all understanding, is enough!! That big hand that holds us, guides us. And guess what. We, the broken hearted, we survive. We put our lives back together again. We get married again. We teach our heart to trust. Slowly, and maybe with much reservation, but we go where we said we wouldn’t go. We move back into that relationship thinking that we will only be hurt, abandoned, left again. But….somehow…once in a while, God sends a Steve Hannah along. A “stay with it”guy. A man that raised a handicapped step child for 13 years, only to have his heart broken. A guy that gives everything and asks for nothing in return. A guy that doesn’t walk away when my kids have a bus wreck and need to move in for 6 months, or my mother is sick and must live with me, or my sister is sick and must live with me, or I’m having open heart and need a 24/7 nurse, or I bring all 26 of my kids and grandkids to dinner and tell him to get the check (haven’t done that in a while)…..you get the picture. He stepped up and loves me and all of mine. Yes, that’s how that works. Steve and I, along with millions of Americans will never celebrate 50 years of marriage, we started too late. But what we will celebrate is this: God is faithful when people aren’t! Family is family, no matter how you got them…time spent does a family make. Grandchildren have no clue whose gene pool they came from, and they don’t care. I am just their Granny. Period. All of them.
But I must admit, I wish I had met Steve when I was a young girl, married him, and we could be headed like a freight train for 50 years!!! But, that didn’t happen. This did. And Lord have mercy….I am one blessed woman today!! Can I get a witness?? One catch though, I get all of the same kids, grandkids.
Edith and LaVerne, I love you all, and I wish you 50 more! You are such an inspiration to me. I suppose if I live to be 102 and Steve lives to be 96, we will be inviting you all to the party!!!! 🙂