A belated valentine

I hugged my wife and left to go to the store. I’ve hugged her thousands of times, but I was still thinking of her ten minutes later when I was driving. I get out of the house, but with the pandemic, my trips out have been limited. The sun had set and I was driving 50 mph or so when a large Whitetail Deer jumped out of the shadows and in front of my car. I swerved one way then another, pumping hard on my brakes. I slid crazily on the ice and found myself turned around in the other lane, fortunate that I was the only traveler on the road and that I had somehow missed the deer.

My good luck was not lost on me. I could have easily ended up in a ditch or, worse, injured and upside down in an ice filled heap. I quickly started my car back-up and pulled off to the side of the road, away from any danger. I reflected once more on the hug that my wife and I had shared. I felt blessed. I thought too about others who haven’t been so lucky, others who’ve been separated from loved ones by either death or less drastic, but still costly divorce. I thought of friends who’ve had to be separated from significant others because military service or job relocations.

I felt profound appreciation. My wife and I have been lucky. We’ve faced tough times and have kept on going.

I don’t know why my wife and I have been fortunate. I can’t tell you why. I know we have to work at our marriage and it’s not always sunny days and a dozen roses. It can be demanding. We’ve made sacrifices for the other. We’ve made choices that might not have been our favorites, but were for the good of the team. We’ve worked hard to be a couple, but that still doesn’t explain it completely, because lots of people work at their relationships.

I don’t know why we’ve been lucky, but I’m grateful. When cupid pulled back his bow and struck us with his arrow, it stuck in us for good. The arrow hit the bullseye, our hearts, “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part.” In this day and age, I’ll take it.

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