Buds of another kind…

by

28 years and still pals.....

It amazes me every day how very blessed I am.   I know that my life is relatively easy as judged against most of the world population’s struggles.  But still, like everyone I suspect, in my personal space each day I feel challenged,  sometimes overwhelmed, and slightly exhausted because I am busy from morning till night.  I keep at this level of activity because I feel that I’m contributing in some small way to making the world a better place.  I don’t need recognition, I just need to keep believing that my contribution is a betterment.  I  draw my daily strength from something I heard by one of my favorite writers, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, that each of us contributes something unique that is just exactly what the world needs.  (read the transcripts of an interview with Dr. Remen on http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/listeninggenerously/transcript.shtml).

But I could not do any of this were it not for the support of my life partner, John, pictured with me above.  Last weekend, John and I celebrated 28 years of marriage, 35 years of friendship, by going to Niagara Falls, Ontario.  We wanted to spend time together away from the responsibilities of our daily life.  In a way, we were challenging ourselves to move beyond our daily cares.  We arrived at Niagara Falls and were dumbstruck by the crush of humanity and the overabundance of wax museums, arcades, and tourist traps.  After we waded through the people, we made it to the viewing areas of the falls themselves.  The Falls are beautiful.  But it was so hard to take in the natural beauty because of the over commercialization.  It wasn’t what John and I expected at all.  We found a wonderful family-owned restaurant off the beaten path and they told us that we could get a better feel for the beauty of the area by biking up the river to Niagara-On-The-Lake, on Lake Ontario.  So the next day, we rented bicycles and set off to pedal what was supposed to be a two hour ride to a quaint historic town.  During this bike ride it became increasingly hard for me to believe that I would make the trip back as most of the way there turned out to be downhill.  As the ride got longer and longer, with no end in sight. I started to panic.  I have not been on a bike in nearly 10 years.  I am out of shape.  John repeatedly encouraged me, told me not to worry, slowed down to stay with me, and remarked about the beauty along the way.  He tried to ease my worry by offering to make the trip back alone and come back with the car to get me.  This upset me more as I did not want to burden John with my failings.  But John did not play into my stress.  He coaxed me along and when we arrived in the town, we celebrated with a lovely lunch together at a little cafe.  We regrouped and walked over to an old hotel where the bellman told us about a taxi back to Niagara Falls, with the bikes.  So, that’s what we did and the cab driver gave us a wonderful understanding of the area and its history over the distance of close to 15 miles back to town.  I would never have made the trip back on the bike.  But the point of my long story here is to illustrate  what John does for me every day.  He helps me not only to complete my tasks, but to enjoy them as we go.  And we enjoy it all together regardless of which or whose journey we’re on.  And so, this week, I celebrate my husband and our anniversary.  I love you John!  And sisters, thank you for indulging me!

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3 Responses to “Buds of another kind…”

  1. Sandi Says:

    What a beautiful thing we have created, Sister Summit. Judy, your post and your writing here is just glistening with your authenticity. And thank you(!), for indulging us by sharing a slice of your journey to Niagra Falls. These musings that we’re creating here have added another dimension to Sister Summit. A layer that lets us reflect on (one at at time) what is near and dear to each of us. And then the ability for the other 3 sisters to listen, to soak it in, to respond. It’s what Carolyn spoke of this morning — that we’ve known each other our entire lives. And yet at 49, I have a much deeper appreciation, wonder and love for our sisterhood than I did when we were younger.

    One thing that has stayed with me through the last 28 years though, is the love and admiration I have for my sister Judy — and the love she has for her beloved, John. Although I often jokingly describe my sister Judy as “winning the marriage lottery”, what I really feel is immense reverence for what the two of you have created. You two are the “beacon” for living a loving relationship. Thank you for shining your bright light, even in the panic moments of the bike ride. And thank you, John for the joy you bring to my sister.

  2. maureenradice Says:

    Just beautiful Jude…what you have is extraordinary and what a metaphor for our lives. Often we need to remember that we do need coaxing when we feel unsure of our abilities and reassurance when we feel overwhelmed with our challenges. We need one another to thrive in this world not just survive. Sometimes it feels like I get caught up in survival mode…my independent self won’t accept help…but I need to remind myself that I need to reach out and allow others to help in order to thrive and grow! Thank you for the reminder Jude, you are an inspiration.

  3. Carolyn Says:

    yes.. Jude, it is great see you and John still loving every moment you have with each other.. that bike ride, is an example of the friend you have had beside you since high school. AND, we three sisters have not only had the opportunity to witness the friendship that you and John have between you both, but John has been a friend to all of us too. Here’s to both you.

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