I apologize for multiple posts today. It’s the first day in several weeks I’ve really had any time to reflect and write, and I guess I’m making up for lost time. In the quiet today after a week or more of constant activity the old saying that “absence makes the heart grow fonder” has taken on new meaning. My wife Diana and I are in the middle of a week’s vacation at a gorgeous resort in Mexico. Diana’s son invited us to join him and his children at their favorite vacation destination. We’ve had four fun but very busy days here mostly spent at the beach or in one of several beautiful pools.
Today is very different. Everyone else is off on an excursion away from the resort. My step-son and his kids are snorkeling 90 minutes away by boat on the other side of the bay. We did not join them because Diana gets motion sickness and could not make the boat trip. Those who know Diana know that she is one of the most fit and active 70 year-olds you will ever meet. Rather than spending the day at the resort she therefore chose to go on an outdoor adventure excursion that includes riding a donkey to the top of a mountain, rappelling, an 800 foot water slide, and a very long zip line, not necessarily in that order. Just thinking about it makes me exhausted and a bit fearful.
4-5 years ago, however, I would have been there with her. Those of you who know me understand that my chronic back problem makes such an adventure way outside my comfort and practicability zone. After our busy days here, being an introvert, I was more than ready for a restful day; so I was not only ok with Diana going on the adventure I was looking forward to a quiet day where I could read, write and relax. I’m doing all of those things and grateful for them, but I am also experiencing something I didn’t anticipate, a much greater appreciation and caring for Diana’s presence in my life because of her absence.
We have a wonderful marriage and appreciate and love each other more now than when we were married 15 years ago. But today is different in a special way. I know she’s safe and will be back in a few hours, but there is enough risk in what she’s doing that I am forced to realize that I should never take her love and partnership for granted. Mixed in with my jealousy and admiration for her courage to take off on her own in a foreign land to do things that even she admitted were a bit frightening is an empty place in our condo and my heart that she normally occupies.
So as I pray for her to have a wonderful adventure and return to me safely I am also very grateful for a renewed and deeper appreciation for all she means to me. She inspires me to do and be more than I could or would without her. She puts up with me on my worst days and loves me anyway. She is my partner on this most challenging part of life’s journey as we learn to accept and cope with the fact that much more of our life is behind us than before us.
And so my love I thank you and God for all that has been and shout a resounding “yes” to all that is yet to be knowing that neither zip line nor daunting water slide will separate us on this adventure we call life.
p.s. Diana had a blast and the pictures above show some of the fun she had.