-jumping into year 18-

Happy anniversary to someone I really like a lot. It’s been a good 17 years. Good enough that I guess I’ll keep you around for a few more.

This is kind of a depressing way to say happy anniversary, but… you’re probably used to me and my weird ways of saying things.

preventive maintenance

one day, it will be you
in a room
with me.
hands unsure of how to say goodbye,
feet torn between lingering
     and finding escape…
for the first time-
only one heartbeat between us,
only one mind to hold the memories:

     an enchanted doorway in the green Kentucky hills,
     rainy Carolina mornings,
     the satisfaction of infants,
     unrestrained joy of toddlers,

all those growing-up, growing-together
that took their toll
and solidified the commitment-


the only remedy I can think of
for that empty-handed moment
     (and it will make the loss more complete
     but it may soften the blow)
is to live life -now-
with no regrets.
love completely, responsibly;
laugh easily, forgive quickly,
love with simple extravagance,
“to infinity and beyond!”

no regrets.


Earlier this year Roger was telling me about a funeral that I wasn’t able to go to with him. He said it was one of the saddest things he’d ever witnessed – the husband standing beside his wife’s casket with his hands on either side of her face, trying to do the impossible and say goodbye to the love of his life. Roger said he couldn’t help imagining being in that man’s shoes someday… saying goodbye to me.

It was an interesting thought. I’ve imagined (feared) that same scenario often, but in my head I’m always the one mourning. In reality, it could be either of us. Because it was him feeling sad in that moment, I jumped into fix-it mode (really, that mindset is not reserved for men) and gave him my carved-in-stone opinion on how to make that moment a little easier to handle. Preventive maintenance.

Maybe it’s not possible to live with no regrets. But I don’t think it’s unrealistic to try.



About ruthie.voth

Wife of one, mother of four, friend of many. Lover of details, color, good conversations, finding balance, and being honest. Passionate lover of a well-crafted sentence - even more so if it's witty. Weird blend of cynical optimist. I'm the worst kind of woman. I'm high maintenance, but I think I'm low maintenance. Somehow, people still love me. Must be grace.
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2 Responses to -jumping into year 18-

  1. Roy Hunsberger says:

    Has it been 17 years already? It doesn’t seem that long ago that you walked out of the house on Saturday morning and asked me if it would be all right if you picked one of the tulips that were blooming in our flour bed. I agreed and you picked it and carried it in your wedding! It was beautifully simple and simply beautiful. You got an early start on that “loving with simple extravagance.” I like your remedy for facing that time when we have to say goodbye. May we all practice living now – with no regrets. Happy anniversary to you and Roger on this your special day. I love you more than words can describe. Daddy

    By the way, the tulips are blooming beautifully right now. They even survived the freezing cold we had earlier this week. We did pick a beautiful bouquet just in case it got too cold. Yesterday I picked a small bouquet for little Molly Grove to give to her Nana when she came to pick her up.


  2. Tama says:

    Ruthie, you make me cry, but in a good way. Your words are beautiful. I remember that day quite well – was so thoroughly impressed by both your and Roger’s evident love for each other. It set the bar for me in my dating relationships in the next several years, and even now, ten years into my own marriage. Here’s an inadequate word, but… thanks. 🙂


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