Sunday, August 9, 2009


Tribute to The Best Man:

My husband has been Mr. Right for me --I've never doubted it. But I knew which of us was more lucky. When he showed an interest in me, I was a junior in college and he, a lowly freshman. And I said to myself, "They don't come finer!" HANDSOME! and he still is. And GOOD --in every sense of the word. He's better than I deserve --but I do believe God rewards those who believe in Him, believe in Jesus Christ and strive to please and serve Him --and we have strived to do just that. And so the Holy Spirit inspires abiding love and faith in each other.

I sort of guessed maybe he was my reward for my square youth of faith and convictions --but as women go, I knew he wasn't as rewarded: he didn't get a great housekeeper, a cook, or a looker in me. But he almost always makes me feel that he feels fortunate to have me. We certainly felt blessed in our children. He always believed that fidelity in marriage was a gift to them as much as to ourselves.

My eldest daughter said at her wedding, 16 years ago, "I always knew my father loved my mother and that he always would." A challenge to him, perhaps! He's not let her down.

Our lives are not "charmed." We both have some health issues that are largely of our own making --with some genetic predispositions we were given and sweet teeth! But we feel blessed in the love of four wonderful kids and two children-in-law and two grandsons--whose music --and harmony of relationships --are the delight of our ears! And they all believe in Christ and are church-active.

I hate to drive with him as he tries to drive FOR me --and I'm a back-seat driver about the boat. We each see disaster coming --and damage --he when I drive the car and I, when he drives a boat!

The monetary blessings we have are due in great part to my husband's energy, stamina, and drive --and work-aholicism. But I credit God for opening med school to him, for giving him diligence and care in his work, a love for what he does --a love for people he serves --a servant's heart. An incredibly tolerant and patient man --with patients and with me.

He used to prefer young families as patients because they weren't terribly ill and he didn't enjoy the elderly as much for all their problems--but the more he practiced medicine, the more he came to really enjoy the elderly. He is a med. director at 3 nursing homes --and he takes his antique postcard books from various vicinities to show his patients who are from those areas. He sings to the ladies --he has a song for every name, he said. E.G. He'll go into a patient's room singing (in a most beautiful dramatic tenor voice) "How do you solve a problem like ____ ______? How do you catch a cloud and pin it down? How do you solve a problem like ____ ______? A Flibbertygibbit, a willow the wisp, a clown!" Filling in the lady's name to the tune of the famous song by the nuns in Sound of Music. to their great enjoyment. My daughter was with him in a nursing home once, and the elderly resident said to her, "Handsome doctor! Is he married?"

He enjoys bringing donuts and sneaking plastic spiders onto the nurses' stations --and preaching politics and his faith whenever the opportunity arises --whether it does or not, probably!

This man bought us a new Bennington pontoon in this our 40th anniversary year(we're helping the economy) and a solar-powered boat lift with canopy --as user-friendly a boat could be --if we can just aim it into the lift before we hit the dock! The first day it was windy and we almost crashed our new pontoon into our other old boat and dock before we got lined up to hitch it up --that was before we had the new lift which helps if we can just nose into it. Daughter Chrissy was supposed to help guide us to the right place --but she was standing on the pier waving her arms uselessly as a bird kept dive-bombing at her! The waves were pushing us, the wind a-blowing, and Jon was yelling, "Never mind the bird! Catch the boat!" If you could see all 105 pounds of her, you'd know she wasn't going to be able to catch the boat in the wind and waves --and she couldn't ignore the bird and kept flailing her arms in front of her as she cowered. Finally --we got righted and docked. But not before we snagged the new ladder and broke the snap that held it up--snagged it on our motor boat's lift. Since then, we've let the bimini top slam down a few times and lost the zipper case for the bimini top. The Bimini light still works--amazingly. Guess the bimini cover floated away --perhaps when the kids were trying to attach the huge canvas boat cover. It was the same color and stored in the same place, so, being much smaller than the boat cover, it may have gotten away without their notice and landed in the bottom of the lake somewhere. Something made a hole in our boat cover already, too. Almost looks like the work of a dive-bombing bird! But boat troubles are the story of our lake lives. We're hoping the 2nd daughter will marry a boat enthusiast! who wants to go up every weekend and see that the batteries aren't dead --as they so often are as the boats need to be run--and we are usually too busy to go up very often.

But with new faith in the latest boat technology, and hope for more lake time in the future, and so we could easily get our elderly mothers onto a boat, we got ourselves this "old ladies' boat," a lovely living room on the water with plush upholstery --capacity 17 normal people --and we took it out last night, just the two of us, for a sunset ann'y cruise. We did get it at a good price, from what we can tell--not as much as we expected considering the size and brand. Hubby set the gear to neutral, turned on the "mood lights," and sat in the back seat with me as we listened to PBS symphonic music, reminisced and watched the sun go down. It was absolutely lovely and romantic.

This followed a wedding in Ft. Wayne --of our niece --where he sat down our camera bag and lost it at the Rose Garden, where the wedding took place in light rain. He went back and someone said they were asked about the camera bag by a person who said he knew the wedding party and would make connections. We're thinking it was a later wedding group the camera-finder knew --or he just was making sure the camera owner wasn't around before he made off with it. It didn't show up at the reception as we'd hoped.

That wedding reception was in the Baker St. Train Station in Ft. Wayne. And my husband recalled that my dad picked us up there in 1970 --near our first anniversary-- when we found out that he had been admitted to med school. We had almost started a teaching stint in West Africa with the Mennonites when he got the call that he had moved up on the waiting list and was admitted! My father was delighted --not really wanting to see his Bar-baby go to Africa! He was also happy that my husband was admitted to the medical school where my father had turned down a PhD program to work with Dr. Doisy, discoverer of Vitamin K. (My father always regretted that he turned down that opportunity --but he was tired of going to school and knew of jobs for his Masters' Degree in chem. )

Of course, the boat and camera stories here are just incidental; the real story is that some of us are still going the distance as couples and finding the journey worthwhile all the way. And recommend marriage --the old-fashioned way.

"God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance and have eternal life."--the Bible


steve said...

Happy Anniversary!!

Barb said...

Thanks! and for saying nothing about our boat "treaure" on earth!

Barb said...

"treasure" I meant to say.

Jeanette said...

Happy anniversary a few days late!

On Dec. 16, my sweetie and I will celebrate our 42nd anniversary.

It just gets sweeter as the time goes by.

We are both lucky and blessed to have wonderful husbands. You know, of all the people I know, every one of them says the same thing about their marriages. I guess birds of a feather...