The Sunday morning before Memorial Day, instead of meeting at church, we have our annual cemetery meeting. It’s a community gathering; a time of catching up with people who we only see a couple of times a year. This year, before the singing and preaching started up, I found myself talking to Marie.
Over the last four years, whenever I’ve talked to Marie, one thing I’ve always been sure of at the end of the conversation is that she misses her husband Sam. They were married later in life, and they shared the love of two people who have seen too much heartache to waste their precious time at odds with each other. They had only celebrated a handful of anniversaries when he died suddenly; it still seems so unfair.
We talked about how much my children have grown, her knee replacement surgery, the fact that she’s just waiting for her turn to join Sam in heaven, and then she asked me, “I want to know if Roger has kept his word.”
“I don’t know,” I said. “Which one was that?”
“He told me once that he had learned a lot from Sam about how to treat a wife. Does he treat you good?”
I thought about that for a minute. I thought about the way Roger respects me; how he always fights fair even when I don’t. About how I can trust him completely, and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that he’ll keep the promise he made “until death do us part.” I thought about the way we joke and laugh and understand each other so thoroughly, and the fact that we really are each other’s best friend. I thought about the way he chooses words that build me up, and the way he listens when I talk.
There are too many facets to our relationship to cram into one answer. I hoped she understood my sincerety when I replied, “He does. He really does treat me good.”
I don’t know how much he learned from Sam, or how much of that came from watching his daddy. I do know that what he does is real and true, and that I’m a better person because of his role in my life.
But I don’t claim that he’s better than any other husband out there. A lot of you reading this blog could say the same words about your husband or wife. And that is something to treasure.