My wonderful partner,
A buddy sent me an email message recently, commenting on your walking with me on my first day returning to work after being confined at home with a broken leg. You rode with me on the Metro into the city and walked with me to my office. My buddy said, “Love walks with you.”
I smiled when I read that. It caused me to think about my relationship with you. You have walked by my side now for 17 years. You aren’t out front, you’re not behind. You are right by my side. You are my teammate on my life journey.
I look a bit more introspectively at my relationship with you, and your relationship with me. It has taken us a while to achieve this level of understanding. There are certain tasks at which I am better suited to complete, and other tasks that you do better. That’s normal and understandable.
But it’s more than that. When it comes down to the tough issues, requiring hard work and “hard thought,” we do it together. We ask questions, and talk it through. We make a plan of action, and follow it. We reconsider our plan if it isn’t working and redouble our efforts to achieve our goals.
I think this is descriptive of what makes a good relationship: we respect each other and engage the other’s natural talents. Further, we talk it through. We identify what components of a task are daunting, and how we can resolve them, whether we do it ourselves or if we have to hire a professional. It’s a joint decision.
I guess that summarizes a lot about our relationship: “it’s a joint decision.” Often as I am pondering a question, I find myself thinking, “what would you think about?” or “what would you say?” or “what are the questions that I want to ask you?” You are always in my mind, and I benefit so much from your intelligence.
There are lots of stories and fables over time about how couples walk side-by-side on their life’s journey. The poem by Mary Stevenson about the man who was angry with God because there were only one set of footprints in the sand at the low points of his life’s journey, and he thought God had abandoned him. God replied, “that’s when I was carrying you.”
This parallels my last couple of months. If you look at the figurative bootprints of our life journey, you’ll see only one set of bootprints during the past couple months. That is when you were carrying me.
I won’t quote clichés. Instead, I reflect on my lifemate, my partner, my best friend, my soul, and say, “love, walk with me.” You smile, take my hand in yours, and say, “let’s go, it’s our journey.”
I am so humbly appreciative of you. But you know what, if we’re going this strong after 17 years, I think we’re on to something (smile.)
I love you. Today, always, and together as we make bootprints on our life’s journey.