“My mom was giving me a haircut. This was back in high school, and I had just started dating this girl I was absolutely crazy about. Stay-up-all-night-thinkin
g-about-her crazy. I was very open with my parents about my dating life, because they had been married twenty-five years (at that point) and radiated happiness, and what I wanted most was what they had.
So I asked her a question: “Mom, do you think you enjoyed being married more when you first got married, or do you enjoy it more now?”
My mom takes all questions with gravity and consideration. The hair clippers stopped for a long time. Then she said: “You know, a marriage is like a river. When it first starts out, it can be quite fierce. There are so many rocks and turbulence. Whitewater stretches where you can be holding on for dear life. And that’s exciting. When your dad and I were first married, I loved how everything was a new adventure. There was so much discovery. But as you keep going down the river, the channel cuts deeper, and the current flows more smoothly and stronger. I have to say that I love my marriage so much more now that I’m sailing on a deep current.”
She could be a poet on the spot, my mom. I remember this almost word for word, and as I’ve gone through life, in tough times I recall these words and remember that life is long, and that good things are worth sticking with, because in ten and twenty and fifty years, they will be deep currents I cannot imagine at this moment.”
A relationship may be easy to give up on when times are tough, but through commitment we can experience a deeper level of love and understanding that we might otherwise not have known, if we hadn’t kept going down the path we chose. Relationships can teach us the most about ourselves – and love is always the answer.
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