"Happiness is being married to your best friend."
Not everyone has the good fortune to meet and marry their soul mate. I am one of the fortunate ones. Even though my husband Max passed over the veil 8 1/2 years ago, I still feel blessed every day to have spent 28 years on Earth as his wife. I still consider myself married so the years keep piling up.
When I was in my mid 20's I was told I would never get married because I was too picky. I thought that was an odd thing to say because I considered marriage a very important commitment and being picky was a good thing.
In 1983, when I was 28, I met Max in a 2-year leadership program. The program involved traveling to seminars in various parts of the state of Washington once a month over the two years. After meeting during the first seminar, we decided to carpool to future meetings. The seminars were usually a few hours away so we had lots of time to talk and get to know each other on a pretty deep level. After that first year, we knew we wanted to be together forever.
Max was an agricultural research scientist. He was considered the world authority on plant growth regulators for the commercial production of apples. At Max's retirement banquet one of the speakers gave a lengthy explanation as to why Max was the Superman of agricultural research. He presented him with a Superman t-shirt.
We loved skiing together. When we were young, before his Parkinsons diagnosis, I'd pack a lunch and we'd find a rock in the sun to sit on while we enjoyed our lunch and a fabulous view of the beautiful Wenatchee Valley.
We also loved playing golf together. Max wasn't a great golfer but he sure did enjoy being out there. He had back issues and couldn't hit the ball very far but it almost ALWAYS went straight. His biggest downfall was that he was a horrible putter. He didn't care. I always admired that he didn't have an egotistical bone in his body and could just enjoy being out there enjoying the day. We always put our clubs in the car when we traveled. Usually, when we arrived at our destination for a day, we'd find the nearest golf course, play 9 holes then go have dinner.
How many of you are old enough to remember the TV commercial for E.F. Hutton? The tagline was "When E.F. Hutton Talks, people listen." That's how someone once described Max. Max was basically a quiet guy who didn't talk much unless he actually had something worthwhile to say. So, when he spoke, you wanted to listen. He didn't like small talk.
I won't tell you we didn't have challenges. We did. Everyone does. He had 5 kids and an ex-wife. That's all I will say about that. But, as the saying goes: "Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief". Max was my best friend.
Who couldn't consider themselves eternally grateful to be married to a man who's a cross between Superman and E.F. Hutton?
I love the above picture I took in front of my garage a couple of years ago. These intertwined hearts were made by tire tracks after a skiff of snow. That's Max and Me.
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This is my 4th entry into the November Gratitude Challenge co-hosted by Debe Maxwell, CRS and Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland .