Long-lasting Marriage

Looking back at a journal entry dated a mere month
after his wife’s death, September 4, 2012,
he was surprised to find
three short lines he had scribbled out
to account for their long marriage
of 61 years.
Why had he done that, just at that time,
so soon?
He can’t recall now.
Maybe because he expected to be asked,
but never was, the secret
to such a long-lasting marriage.
Accept that there are irresolvable differences
his first line, engrained patterns,
habits of mind and heart
beyond change.
Is this really true?
He doesn’t think so now but his salvation then,
the unspoken words between them
part of love’s kindness.
Focus on the good you see in each other and
celebrate it often, the second line
easy to come by, every holiday
an excuse to acknowledge and honor,
with many little surprises between, the
other’s gifts to you.
Don’t sweat the small stuff, concentrate
on the big picture,

the last of the three lines he’d scribbled out,
reflected his care for his beloved
those last, dreadful years,
a downward spiral into the dark of
memory loss where only his sense of
a greater love would do.


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