Five Simple Words
Admittedly, each of us carried baggage. Probably enough for a seven-day cruise. And we knew that we had more than a mere suitcase to lose—this time around. We were vulnerable, wary and utterly terrified that we might stumble yet again. The sting of divorce still smarted as if the wound were as raw and as deep as the beginning of the end. Without question, the ugliness had shaken us both to our very cores and caused us to question and to doubt and to mistrust—even our own instincts.
It hardly seemed fair for all that fear and skepticism to have tainted one of life’s most joyous events—falling in love—again. Granted, having fallen short the first time around we truly recognized and valued the second chance we had been given for a “happily ever after” sort of existence, and we savored the connectedness, intimacy and passion of it all—but with an unmistakable degree of guardedness. Not allowing ourselves to let go completely—to freefall without so much as a thought as to where we might land. Sadly, it prevented us from listening solely to our hearts.
That is, until my husband-to-be uttered five simple words in response to my what-iffing our relationship to death. “What if my (then six-year-old) daughter couldn’t make a healthy adjustment? What if we seriously question our decision five years down the road? What if we start experiencing some of the same problems that destroyed our first marriages? What if life throws us unforeseeable circumstances!?”
The words, “We’ll lean on each other,” rolled off his tongue as if he had never been surer of anything in his life. “That way, neither of us will fall and we can support each other through thick and thin until whatever faces us—passes.”
Needless to say, I married that man more than a decade ago and have never looked back—except to reflect upon our good fortune and the weightiness of those special words spoken seemingly yesterday. Undoubtedly, when our twin daughters are old enough to understand the significance of, “We’ll lean on each other,” I’ll be sure to share with them just how important those words were to me—for they allowed me to trust—again.
Without that, words are simply—words.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.