A Bit of Reflection By Nan Russell
A carved sign on a wall in a country store caught my eye. "All because two people fell in love," it read. It got me thinking in this, our anniversary month, how that saying relates to our lives.
There are, of course, the tangible results - two little girls, ages four and almost two, who call us Nana and GrDad, delight our lives, and make us smile. Plus one young father and husband whose creative spirit, zest for life, and loving ways make us proud parents. And an amazing daughter-in-law who completes our family with grace and a welcoming style.
But the intangible impact of falling in love with this man who shares my life, is harder to quantify. Yet I feel it every day. While graying hair and extra pounds changed the outer package, my heart beats strongly with love, joy, and gratitude for this life we share.
I don't claim a marriage without mistakes, scars, or life-happens-shifts that challenged, pushed, and demanded change or renewed focus from us, individually or collectively. I don't assert some magical happily-ever-after fairy tale experience (although that's appealing). We've enjoyed wonderful years, and we've struggled and weathered less than good ones in our time together.
I don't profess to know what works for anyone else, but I do know this: Dan brings out the best in me. He helps me see tomorrow's sunshine when it's raining,
makes me laugh, challenges my thinking, pushes me from my comfort-zone, offers alternative perspectives, and nudges my good side. Yet, all the while, letting me be me - talents, shortcomings, technical incompetence and all.
By nourishing my soul, supporting my dreams, and encouraging my life's passions, I am who I am today because I fell in love with, and am loved by Dan. It is that gift of unconditional love that ripples in intangible ways.
Thirty-six years ago, a small group of family and friends gathered on an August day in the mountains to celebrate our simple ceremony of love. "You invent the future that you want to face," were the words we chose to engrave in our rings, plucked from a Fleetwood Mac song popular at the time.
In the scheme of things, that vision has served us well as we created a life, a family, and a future. It still does as we embrace new demands, dreams, and changes together.
Certainly, no one knows what the future holds. But we have today and it holds a loving, joyful anniversary celebration with my husband and best friend. Falling in love with Dan is the best thing that ever happened to me. The resulting wonderful son, daughter-in-law, and darling granddaughters think so, too!
© 2011 Nan S. Russell. All Rights Reserved.
Nan Russell left the corporate world in 2002 to pursue a life dream to work and write from the mountains of Montana. Today she is the award winning author of Hitting Your Stride, a syndicated columnist, and motivational speaker. More about Nan and her work at http://www.nanrussell.com/ or follow her insights and tips on twitter @nan_Russell