Lisa recently revealed to me that she secretly thought our marriage would struggle while traveling with her job. Her fear was that we would get on each other’s nerves so bad that it would not take long to realize life traveling in our RV away from family would just not work. After all – for the previous twenty-nine years of our marriage her and I had a healthy daily separation as she went to her job and I went to mine. There were many days when we hardly spoke as our busy lives seemed to barely cross paths with one another other than sleeping in the same bed. Such is the life of a working couple raising two children and that life, though not easy, seemed normal and even comfortable.
Two years have now passed in this new life of traveling from city to city with her job and me, retired – taking on the new role of domestic house husband. The truth is that these past two years have proven our marriage is the greatest asset in our lives. We just simply could not travel without each other and the thought of sending Lisa to the next place alone is almost unbearable. We need each other but more than that – we are blessed to have each other to share these amazing experiences with. Life for us is each other.
Thomas is in his eighties and lives in the RV next to us. He pulled in to “Spring Valley Campground” in mid-July and Lisa and I have become friends to him as our heart goes out to this senior adult – who is alone. We don’t know what the story is with Thomas other than we know he has a son and he has called Valdosta, Georgia his home. He seems happy and independent though a recent stint in the hospital was confirmation of his fragile health. Seeing him alone is just a sad sight. There may come a day in my life – when I will experience loneliness as I fear Thomas does on occasion. Having companionship is something no one should ever take for granted and Lisa and I are aware how fortunate we are to not be living life alone.
Lisa and I have had some fantastic adventures in our marriage. We have raised two marvelous kids who now have marriages of their own – one of which has produced a grandson we can’t wait to see and hold. We have family and friends that we dearly love and dearly miss. Over the last two years we have seen some marvelous places while living out of a leaky, twenty-nine foot fifth wheel camper. We have made friends from Gettysburg to southern California and several places in between. I can’t imagine experiencing those things alone. When we add it all up – we realize the greatest treasure of our lives is each other. Allow me to speak my heart for a moment. Nothing in our lives has been more difficult, nothing more demanding, nothing more emotional and nothing of greater value than our marriage. It is why I am so disturbed by people who throw marriage away or quit without a fight. Our marriage is the most important thing in our lives and seeing it regarded as “old fashioned”, obsolete or unnecessary is beyond sad. It is an insult. I liken it to laboring for thirty-one years constructing a cathedral only to watch as in seconds someone burns it to the ground. I do realize that some marriages are broken beyond repair and I do not disparage those who have tried and failed. Their pain is real and understandable. But there has grown in our world a culture that pushes real commitment to the curb and regards legal marriage as restricting and impossible. It is that attitude that insults me and the hard fought marriage Lisa and I have created.
This week Lisa and I celebrate our thirty-first anniversary. We will be here in Cambridge Ohio thirty-one years to the day we married on August 5, 1983. We may go eat at “Theo’s” and enjoy their home-made raspberry pie. Perhaps we will stroll down “Wheeling Avenue” and go into a “Penny Court Antiques”. Who knows what will happen? What we do know is that we will be together and we will share that day with each other as we have every day for thirty-one years. We have no idea how long God will give us together. All we know is that today – we are not alone.
Thankful for thirty-one years! Steve and Lisa