Wow, what a weekend we had (last weekend). Have you ever wished you could capture a moment and live in that moment? Maybe keep it in a snowglobe? Right now, I just want to bask in the moments Michael and I shared this past weekend, to breathe it in, and take it all in. Even now, with a new weekend approaching, I am beyond thankful for the one past.
We still need and are thankful for all the prayers we can get, as times are still tough, but wow…
I am simply amazed at the effect that watching “The Phantom of the Opera” (the film) had on us Friday night. Somehow it caused emotions to overflow, overwhelm, and we realized so many things. We cried, the both of us, sobbing tears, holding each other close, not wanting to let go, unsure of how to deal with the changes taking place within and around us, yet knowing that everything will be all right, somehow.
What is it about watching a love story that causes us to take a deeper look into our own relationships? I’m reminded of a past entry posted in another blog entry, concerning this very subject. I wrote this in February:
- I’ve been meaning to post this little whimsical piece for a few days…My husband was checking me out the other day! We were at Cici’s Pizza on Sunday afternoon, Feb. 1st, and when I got up to get more food, he was checking me out! Ha! I think he got the idea from watching “Cheaper by the Dozen.” We rented that last Friday night, and there’s a scene in which Steve Martin’s character, married for 20-something years, and having produced 12 children, gets “caught” checking out his wife’s “tush.” It was incredible to see that kind of devotion portrayed after so many years of marriage, AND so many children. And don’t say “It’s just a movie,” because I know for a fact it happens in real life. My father-in-law always gets a “tush shot” of my mother-in-law on their Christmas morning videos. Ha! My husband has excellent qualities like that, he’s inherited from his awesome parents.
So, Sunday night, after we got back from Cici’s, he told me that he was checking me out. I just grinned from ear-to-ear. After 2 years of marriage and numerous things we’ve been through that could have made our marriage less-than-savory, we’re still going strong!
I love it when something we’ve watched strikes a chord with my husband and me. I remember watching “Love, Actually” and my husband reaching for me as the end credits rolled. We danced to the various songs that played, good songs – a good soundtrack. We danced for so long, it seemed. We don’t dance very often. Even at our wedding, our first “dance” was done mainly for photographs. Yet here, in this movie moment, my husband took the initiative and pulled me close to dance in his arms.
After we watched “A Walk to Remember,” a favorite of mine, he pulled me close and kissed me as if the end of the world was just moments away, as though I was going to disappear. He kissed me with such passion, such thankfulness and gratefulness that we have the blessed opportunity to be together and love each other in such a phenomenal way. If you’ve seen the movie, you know why. I won’t spoil it for you.
Just that same Sunday night (Feb. 1st), we flipped between “Extreme Home Makeover” and the Hallmark movie, “The Magic of Ordinary Days,” featuring Keri Russell (“Felicity”), Mare Winningham, and Skeet Ulrich. When “Extreme Home Makeover” was over, we fully watched the last hour of “The Magic of Ordinary Days.” It was a sweet film, as most Hallmark movies are. Nothing really deep, but just some fuzzy heart-warming stories. My husband was lying across the couch, his head resting in my lap, while we both watched the final moments of the movie. Something must have clicked in his sweet mind as he watched the couple embrace as the woman gave birth to their firstborn. He reached up and pulled my head down and whispered softly in my ear “I love you.” Then he kissed me, full of love and emotion, awkwardness and devotion.
It’s as if, in those moments, his love is his to express, without following my “I love you.” He can let himself be moved to show his deep love, his thankfulness that we’re able to experience such an incredible romance. We believe that perhaps one-in-a-million couples ever truly feel this way. Our love is a precious gift, and after everything we’ve experienced together, we know we’re one-in-a-million. Most couples couldn’t handle everything we’ve been through; many would have given up by now. We know that those circumstances have only made us and our love stronger, more grateful for every single moment we’re together. One-in-a-million, for sure.
All I can say now is that in the past few months we have been through the fire, and last Wednesday (a week ago) it was determined that there was a major need for change. On Wednesday our hearts were breaking; on Friday we were learning the power of a healing love. I think that somehow films and stories can influence us to re-evaluate our own thoughts and ways. So it was with “The Phantom of the Opera.” Who says that we can’t have a little of that passionate romance rekindled? Who says that marriage can’t have fairytale qualities?
On our wedding day one of the very first things I remember thinking was “How do those who are widowed deal with such a loss?” I remember thinking what a true responsibility marriage is — definitely not an act to be taken lightly. While we declared our love for one another, repeating those vows, who would have thought that within only a few weeks’ and months’ time we’d already be learning about love “in sickness and in health.” I was in and out of the hospital with several various unexpected health issues, and the “oooh shiny” effect of the newness of our marriage was overwhelmed with health concerns and dealing with the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Mike and I are incredibly in love, and we have been ever since we met. That has never changed. However, with the awkward difficulties that are thrown in the paths of those who are married, the awe of newlywed love can get lost somewhere in the midst of it all. It is SO incredibly important to keep a bit of that awe alive, always! Don’t forget that first kiss you shared. Read some love letters you wrote to each other. Glance through photographs taken when you first met. Don’t let go of the love that you knew when you first fell in love. This is the thought behind the newlyweds groups that we run. We don’t ask that members literally be newlyweds, but that they seek to always cherish and remember that newlywed love, no matter what curve balls life throws your way. Yes, your marriage will grow beyond that initial romance, you will mature in other ways, but don’t let yourself think that love within marriage is a fable. Please don’t let yourselves ever believe that!
Julie Anne Fidler’s blog entry about “love is…” is SO right on the mark! This entry is excellent, as well. Love has a great deal to do with going through unpleasant experiences, because these times result in growth. Love is not all about kissing and physical intimacy, but it is about a deeper intimacy, where two people are endlessly connected, facing each test and trial together. It’s not always easy — in fact, it rarely is. Love is something you have to choose, as well as choose to work at, and to help it to grow. And believe me, it’s worth it!
My sweetheart and I are growing — in the midst of painful trials, our love grows stronger.