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life's journey


It begins as an attraction, much like two magnets are attracted to one another until they combine almost as one.

But, when magnets are separated by distance they then lose attraction to one another.

Yet, when two young lovers are separated, the compulsion to rejoin one to the other increases the greater the distance apart. Across the room is bearable, across the city is disconcerting, Across the country, almost unbearable. That same intensity of emotion may burn the attraction to ashes if the distance and time remain for too long.

Fortunately, the vagaries of circumstance did not intrude in our romance, but they tried. My sweetheart moved some miles to the big city to further her career as a fashion model. She returned to visit family occasionally and I was able to visit her whenever our schedules and fortunes permitted. It was enough for our budding attraction to one another to blossom into a deep burning love.

We married in the spring of the following year.

Then followed the time of really getting to know one another, that naturally follows when two people start to cohabit. It's when the little foibles appear that were not apparent when courting as both parties strived to only show what they thought were their attractive characteristics.

This is the period where true love for the other partner overcomes the irritations as they either become accustomed to them through time, or just put up with them as they're not that important compared to the pleasure of having the company and love of the other. They sometimes disappear because when one tries to please the other, although the little spats never completely vanish.

Then come the the child rearing period, one of most enjoyable, satisfying, delightful, fulfilling times as you watch the product of your love slowly mature from the tiny squalling infant to first the beguiling toddler, then the attractive child, and on and on to the other stages of development, until they reach some semblance of maturity. Watching them grow your heart overflows with pride with their accomplishments, their personal victories over what ever was threatening in their battles with life's perils.

Ironically, this is the same coinciding period that can be the most heart breaking, saddest, frustrating anguishing times as you wonder if these maladjusted barbarians will ever grow to be functioning members of society. You also suffer with them when things do not go the way they wished or planned, even when you know that it's not in their long term best interest. Their pain with the skinned knees or childhood illnesses torment you as you try to console them. And then there are the teen years where you wonder where you went wrong in their earlier years. Could it possibly be that there was a mix up in the hospital and these are not really your children, but those of some seriously deranged couple?

These years are the same years where you balance your way in the financial world, trying to provide well for your family while still thinking ahead to prepare for the future exigencies. Then, finally, you are able to realize that, yes, you can afford a home of your own, followed by either hunting for your dream house or planning it to build. When you attain one or the other, the balancing continues when you struggle with the mortgage, the car payment[s], the medical bills, and the food and clothing budgets. As time progresses, these hopefully grow less burdensome as you advance in the financial aspects of your life.

Then comes a duration of relative tranquility. You're established in your profession or business, finances are still on your mind, but not so overwhelming as earlier in your life. Your children are grown and, somewhat surprisingly, are mature and functioning reasonably well, going through many of the tribulations that earlier you were encumbered by.

You even may become grandparents, which is certainly one of God's greatest blessings. It's also one of His greatest jokes on mankind as the only way you can accomplish it is to have children of your own. Even being grandparents has it's variety of pitfalls. At what point, when you proffer your experience and advice does it become either thankfully received, or treated as the ramblings of an old trouble making know it all who sticks their nose in where they're not wanted. You try to help, but possibly you become the latter, instead of the wise elder.

If you're fortunate enough to dodge the life taking menaces of heart attacks, strokes, cancers and the other death dealing afflictions long enough you may live to even see great grandparent hood, even though you are probably plagued by the discomforts and limiting aspects of aging.

But now, as I crawl into my bed, and after I say my prayers, I lie there and contemplate on what a wonderful, exciting, challenging life I've had and what a fortune of memories I can look back upon and cherish. Then I reach out for my wife, and hand in hand we fall asleep.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

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