JUST REMEMBER I LOVE YOU                     

14 02 2022

Love has got to be more than just physically making love or else we’d be in a big heap of trouble right now. This year we will celebrate our 40th Wedding Anniversary but this past year has had me battling prostate cancer. Testosterone feeds the enemy and so as part of the treatment, I’ve been receiving hormone shots which denies the adversary access to my maleness. One of the casualties has been any desire or drive for intimacy. In many ways, I’ve returned to my pre-puberty days. Many women might have declared that to be grounds for divorce. Other ladies might have used rationale to open the doors for extramarital affairs. My amazing wife has stood beside me through every step of this uninvited adventure and together I believe our love and respect for each other has actually grown deeper in this desert.

Did I mention that this season is also the first time since 1986 that we have had no children under 18 in the home? Our oldest Son Rudy is a married Minister out in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania. He and his wife Lindsey have three beautiful children of their own. Our two Daughters are both married and serving the Lord in Florida and New Jersey. The older Leah has three girls including a set of twins and the younger Abbie has twin boys. That makes eight grandchildren for those keeping score. Our youngest Son, Joel, is a college student in Indiana. He is not ready for marriage or children yet. I am not about to push him, but he knows that his Parents love him and support him as he goes after his dreams. I share all of this to let you know that Terri and I have had to come up with creative ways to continue to communicate our love for one another. Our love has not died even if the body won’t cooperate. I feel the need to write about this because I fear that there might be just a tad too much emphasis placed on sex and not enough weight put upon the promises and commitments made when couples said their vows on their wedding day.

Most ceremonies include this pledge, “Through sickness and in health.” When we get married, the majority of men and women are in their prime and getting dashed by an unwelcome disease isn’t even on the radar. Brides are radiant and shine like a brilliant sunrise. Grooms probably will never look any better than they do on that day, because for us guys, it mostly goes downhill from there. But if you live long enough, life has a way of trashing our trophies. Outwardly, we begin over time to fall apart no matter how many grape nuts we might eat for breakfast. Hair gets lost. Weight is gained. Eyes grow dim. Hearing becomes harder. What we choose to allow to happen inwardly truly makes all the difference. On our calendar, the shortest days of the year are in December, but because of our creativity, we still decorate with colorful lights in such the manner that it becomes the most wonderful time of the year. Relationships are very much the same. If we invest the quality of our efforts even if the quantity of what’s available has been drastically reduced, it doesn’t mean that love can’t grow deeper even while the walk we are taking seems lots steeper. But as long as I have my wife’s hand to hold tightly on to, it is a reason to rejoice. I can complain about what we are not or I can celebrate all that we still are. I am not alone. I am not what I once was, but I am still man enough to love my wife no matter what cards this life deals me. And I intend to do so.

I am not discounting the art of lovemaking. The Song Of Solomon assures us that God is the author of sex and at its best, its worth shouting about. I am advocating that there are also many other valuable means to communicate one’s love for their partner. One of the most obvious yet underused avenues is the use of words. Sentences can either be chock full of life or loaded with destructive bombs. Sarcasm is more deadly than most recognize. Criticism that isn’t constructive isn’t healthy. Most of us are starving for affirmation and encouragement. Kindness shouldn’t be used as a reward. The tongue that is dipped in poison creates lips that nobody longs to kiss. Too many spouses could use a little mouthwash to clean up their diction. I long for my words to be a source of life for my wife.

There is more to touch than making love. A hug, holding hands, an affectionate pat can be just what the doctor ordered. In a world that has attempted to hijack contact because of those who have abused the privilege, we are human beings and we can’t live without positive interaction, so I want my hands to be a place of safety and my arms to be that of protection for my Terri. I know that I thrive when I am close to her.

We can show our delight for one another by simple acts of service like when my wife makes me coffee every morning. I don’t expect her to do it, but it means so much to me when she does. Saying, “Please” and “Thank You” go a long way also. God so loved us that He gave and if our Creator wasn’t too proud to do for us, why would we think that we are too high and mighty to wash the feet of the one we share our name with? Love doesn’t keep score. It looks for opportunities to knock it out of the park for our partner. I can’t believe that after all these years and the many crazy ups and downs, she still chooses me. I want the world to know that I love her and wouldn’t want to walk this adventure with anybody else. Love should never be kept a secret. I’ll shout it from the mountain top because I want the world to know. Would you do the same for your sweetheart? I only hope the answer is a resounding, “Yes!”

Next Monday is Valentines Day and then Tuesday is Terri’s Birthday. We may not have a ton of money or live in a mansion or drive fancy cars. Our home is right here in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. My body may have betrayed me, but my heart still belongs wholly to my wife. As many of you know, I host the Morning Radio Show on WISL 1480 and you can be sure that I will be dedicating this song to Terri! It is our song! “Believe it or not, I’m walking on air, I never thought I would feel so free, flying away on a wing and a prayer; who can it be? Believe I or not it’s just me!

Love grows as long as you are willing to care for the garden. My prayer is that all of you who are reading this will get even more imaginative with one another. Refuse to lose. I am cheering for your love to win! Happy Valentine’s Day 2022! 



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