June 15, 2022
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”
As most of you know my wife and me have been married for 69 years. Often our past life included lengthly seperations due to my various careers. Those were not always easy days but we always had each other.
These days we have been separated for almost three years due to the special care she is receiving because of her dementia. The good news is that I get to visit with her almost every day. Sometimes we just sit for an hour or more holding hands, but that is enough. The following story reminds me of the life we have had together.
The Greatest Treasure
Like many career military spouses, I couldn’t wait until my husband retired. My husband and I were probably the worst couple in the active duty Navy to ever go through deployment separations. As much as my husband loved the sea, he missed me with a passion, and as much as I supported him in his chosen career, I hated every moment away from him.
I coped with our separations the best way that I could. I prayed for his safety, wrote letters every day, and I prepared for each deployment in advance. I made up dozens of small notes and packages for him, which I secretly tucked into his sea bag, so that he could discover them when he was out to sea. We both kept separate journals, which we wrote in every day, sharing tidbits of the lives we led apart. To this day those notes are still precious to us.
Finally in 1996 my husband retired from the Navy. We moved back to the Virginia mountains that we loved, unaware that we were diving into the longest separation of our marriage. My asthma made it impossible for me to live in the city, and the only job available for my husband was six-and-a-half hours away in Norfolk, Virginia.
We spent eight months apart. By this time email was available, so we finally were able to share our love every single day. That was our hardest separation, perhaps because we had planned to be together, and we had never planned to be apart. Louie came to visit as often as he could. We drove to be with him on Thanksgiving and Christmas. He continued to apply for jobs in the area in which we hoped to live, and we prayed that soon we would be able to be together as a family again.
One day Louie called me with the good news. He had a job opportunity in southwest Virginia, right in the heart of the Appalachian mountains. We were thrilled! Louie was hired immediately, and we would soon be a family again. There was only one small problem. Louie would have to live in a camper, while our daughters and I lived in a little house an hour-and-a-half away, until we could find just the right house.
Okay, I told myself. I know how to do this. We’ve been separated before. My resolve lasted three days. I turned to my daughters, both old enough to take care of themselves, and I announced, “Okay girls, you’re on your own! I’m going to be with my husband!”
In minutes I was packed, and I was on my way to be reunited with my beloved. I drove over mountain roads through a driving rainstorm. Night-blind and terrified, not even a police road block outside the state prison could keep me from my destination. God bless the Virginia State Police! They waved me through, before I could sob out my entire story.
There’s no doubt in my mind that angels guided me. I’d have never found that campground in the dark by myself. As I drove up, I could see my husband, reading by the light of a tiny lamp, framed by the camper window. I pulled to a halt, nearly killing myself getting out of the car, as he threw the camper door open. Louis’s hand reached out for me, as I stumbled into his arms. Such warmth and affection was worth a journey of a thousand miles!
Louie and I spent a glorious three-and-a-half weeks together. One morning after he had left for work, I sat alone in the camper trying to remember any possession that was as priceless as the time God had given us together. I couldn’t think of a single thing. We moved into that camper and lived there for a year, squeezed together like sardines. It was pure joy! I learned in that year that the greatest treasure I have is the time I’ve been given with the ones I love. The worldly treasures that we gave away? You know, I still can’t recall a single thing.
Written by Jaye Lewis
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”
I pulled up to a parking meter recently, only to realize I didn’t have any coins. As I got out of my car, I saw a meter maid about 6 parking meters away….heading my way.
“I’m just going to go in here”, pointing to a nearby shop, “to get some change,” I called out to her.
“If there’s no quarter in that meter by the time I get to your meter, I’ll have no choice but to give you a ticket,” she yelled back to me.
Quickly running into a nearby coffee shop, I ordered a coffee. The waitress, seeing the $20 bill in my hand, asked if I had anything smaller.
“No, I’m sorry, I don’t”
“Well, it’s your *lucky* day then,” she said, handing me the coffee and a big smile.
“We don’t have any change, so your coffee is on the house! Enjoy!”
The Meek shall inherit the earth…..after we’re through with it.
The convent had been presented with a new car, a red Mini Metro, the pride of its breed. Sister Lucy, the only qualified driver, became the chauffer. Every Saturday she would drive the Reverend Mother into town for the shopping.
All went well until a holiday weekend when the town was so packed with people and cars that it became evident that there was no earthly place to park.
“Don’t worry, Reverend Mother,” said Sister Lucy. “You go into the supermarket and I’ll drive around the block until you come out.”
Off sped the car, and the Reverend Mother bustled around the store shopping quickly, then rushing back to the curbside. There she stood for five minutes, ten, twenty.
No sign of Sister Lucy. Where could she be?
Eventually the Reverend Mother approached a patrolling policeman.
“Excuse me, Officer,” she said. “Have you seen a nun in a red mini?”
“No,” replied the officer, “but these days nothing would surprise me!”
I have learned that if you upset your wife she nags you. If you upset her even more you get the silent treatment. Don’t you think it’s worth the extra effort?
There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is “UP.”
It’s easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver, we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.
And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.
We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don’t give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP.
When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.
When it doesn’t rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I’ll wrap it UP, for now my it UP to me, so … Time to shut UP!
Hard work never killed anyone, but why chance it?
Little Johnny’s new baby brother was screaming up a storm.
He asked his mom, “Where’d we get him?”
His mother replied, “He came from heaven, Johnny.”
Johnny says, “WOW! I can see why they threw him out!”
After eight days of backpacking with my wife Linda, we were looking pretty scruffy. One morning she came to breakfast in a baseball cap, her shoulder length hair sticking out at odd angles. “Terry,” she said, “does my hair make me look like a water buffalo?” I thought for a moment, then said, “If I tell you the truth, do you promise not to charge?”
Behind every great achievement is a dreamer of great dreams.
Robert K. Greenleaf
Poor Johnson had spent his life making wrong decisions. If he bet on a horse, it would lose; if he chose one elevator rather than another, it was the one he chose that stalled between floors; the line he picked before the bank teller’s cage never moved; the lane he chose in traffic crawled; the day he picked the picnic was the day of a cloudburst; and so it went, day after day, year after year.
Then, once, it became necessary for Johnson to travel to some city a thousand miles away and do it quickly. A plane was the only possible conveyance that would get him there in time, and it turned out that only one company supplied only one flight that would do. His heart bounded. There was no choice to make! And if he made no choice, surely he could come to no grief.
He took the plane. Imagine his horror when, midway in the flight, the plane’s engines caught fire and it became obvious the plane would crash in moments.
Johnson broke into fervent prayer to his favorite saint, Saint Francis. He pleaded, “I have never in my life made the right choice. Why this should be, I don’t know, but I have borne my cross and have not complained. On this occasion, however, I did not make a choice; this was the only plane I could take and I had to take it. Why, then, am I being punished?”
He had no sooner finished when a giant hand swooped down out of the clouds and somehow snatched him from the plane. There he was, miraculously suspended two miles above the earth’s surface, while the plane spiraled downward far below.
A heavenly voice came down from the clouds. “My son, I can save you, if you have in truth called upon me.”
“Yes, I called on you,” cried Johnson. “I called on you, Saint Francis!”
“Ah,” said the heavenly voice, “Saint Francis Xavier or Saint Francis of Assisi. Which?”
“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel that they are joined for life–to strength each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?”
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