Monday, April 05, 2010

Life Partners

A pair of mallard ducks just drifted past my window on the lake, and somehow it reminds me of my life partner and husband.

You've read the stories of geese who mate for life, and how they follow each other - if one is injured or takes a rest during their long migration, the other one follows.  And how they take turns leading the V shaped flock so that no one bird has to fight the headwinds alone all the time.

Partners for life - it used to scare me, before we got married 25, almost 26 years ago (May 19, 1984).  We lived together in an apartment for a while, just to stop the crazy making back and forth in the mornings, getting changed for work at two different places after spending the night together.

Marriage was on the agenda, and I was promoting it, oh yes. But secretly, I was struggling with the idea of 'eternity' and 'forever', all those diamond ring ads boast about.

Forever seemed too long to make a commitment, even if we were head over heels in love.  So I came up with a plan that I had devised in a high school social sciences project: 5 year contracts.  We would renew our vows or contract if you like, every 5 years.  That way I could manage a smaller chunk of eternity at a time. It made it seem more manageable.

5 contracts later, it seems to be still working.  Through miscarriages and loss, through going back to school (both of us, one at a time), through babies, strollers, sleepless nights and now teenage years, through stresses and strains and midlife restlessness and even through menopause and andropause, we are still drifting together down the current like that pair of mallard ducks.

I'd like to thank my life partner for just being there, for kissing me on the back of the neck every morning on his way to the office, for bringing me into such a wide and love-filled family, for helping me prepare an Easter brunch that lasted till dinner last night and beyond, for playing music with me, for being in harmonious synchronicity most of the time, and for just being who he is, a loveable guy.

back to work people,

1 comment:

Raven said...

Thank you for this article. As a divorced and long time single person who enjoys her own space and company, I can easily be cynical about partnership and love. Yet reading this, and seeing the lovely pic of you both, I am once again deeply touched by your love and sweet friendship. I know its not always easy and there are ups and downs. And yet I still get a bit teary when I think of you both and see/feel your love and commitment. It has always inspired me. May you remain so blessed for the next five years!