Today Kim and I have been married for 40 years.
What’s it like being married to someone for 40 years?
Kim and I spend time together—far more than most couples. Does familiarity breed contempt? No. I joke with her, and she smiles and rolls her eyes. Then she says, “I laughed at that the first time you told me—35 years ago.” At times we work together. But mostly she does her thing, and I do mine. Then we take a break and play Rack-O or Bible trivia or Casino. In the evening we drive around the block, count deer, and look at the sunset together. It’s a cheap date, but we just like being with each other. She reads books to me at night. Then she says, “Are you asleep?”
I like it that her voice is the last thing I hear every night.
40 years—I guess that’s a long time. It doesn’t seem long. It seems like a week. But when I stop and think about it, I realize it’s more than halfway from “I do” to “’til death do us part.” I ponder that—maybe more than I should. It’s sobering. But it’s also like a mystery. What will my wife be like in that heavenly home where her soul is free from pain, and laughter flows from her heart?
I think of the storms we’ve weathered—storms brought on mainly by my own stupidity and insecurity. It seemed at times like the house of our marriage would crumble, but it didn’t. She kept on believing in me even when I could find no reason to believe in myself.
I think of our children—such a mixture of promise and unpredictability in each one—a treasure that we share. I am humbled and awed that I got to be their dad.
I think of our dreams—what they say about us. We never stopped dreaming. We took the road less traveled; it twisted and turned, taking us places we never imagined we would be.
I hold her hand, and I look up into the heavens. Our lives here are small, yes. But I’m glad, Kim Rohrer Clough, that I get to share mine with you.
PS. The picture is the first picture of Kim and me together taken on my 20th birthday in 1977.
PPS. I plan to come back to The Gift of Your Influence. Sorry for the delay. I just needed some time to focus on some other things. Thanks.