For better or for worse
Well this year marks our 47th wedding anniversary. In the last 47 years I have learned a lot about love as Ken and I and our family have moved through the decades. How I viewed love, marriage and the world when I first married at 16 and the lens I look through now has certainly changed. At 16 I had no idea what “for better or worse” meant but it is a mantra I have tried to live with through our married years.
Life can certainly throw you some curve balls and I think one of the most important things to surviving those challenges is communication. We have tried not only to listen to each other but to listen with empathy and to respond with kindness and love. Our goals were always so similar but often we each had different ideas on “how to get there”. It didn’t mean his way was better than mine or my way was better than his. It did mean that the path we chose should respect and reflect each of our values. We weren’t always successful but we tried.
The man I married was only 18 but had the most incredible sense of family. Both ours and extended. Sometimes that created strife in our relationship. I didn’t always feel we were as important as the greater family and what Ken felt was the best course for the greater good. He took responsibility for a mortgage that wasn’t his to save the family farm. That certainly wasn’t best for us financially but in the end we all still live where we do because of Ken and the sacrifices he made.
You know how sometimes people will do something so kind and make a huge impact on the lives of others but they hope to have some recognition for that. Well that is not Ken.
One day during the prelim trial time frame, Ken had been to Cowichan Lake to check on the status of a job he was trying to complete. It was a cold snowy evening just around dusk and while travelling down the Cowichan highway a city bus in front of Ken slid off the road, slipped on it’s side and the engine caught on fire.
Ken kicked the front window out of the bus, the driver was bleeding and hanging from her seat belt. Ken got the driver out first, The bus driver asked his name and he just said “my name is Ken” He then worked with one of the passengers to get the others out the side hatch of the bus. The bus was full of smoke and terrified people.
There were three elderly, larger, ladies there that could not make it out the hatch so Ken had to lift them over the luggage racks and take them out the front window. By this time first
responders started to arrive so Ken slipped away into the night.
That's the heroic Ken and I love that man. But the reason we've been together for 47 years has more to do with the fact that every morning when we have our coffee, somewhere in the conversation, Ken will ask, "how can we help" someone get something they need.
That is the man I married. That's the man I'll celebrate 47 year with full of as much love today as the day I married him. I love the man he is today beyond words and who we are together represents both our strengths and weaknesses.
Don’t be afraid to show who you are. Be gentle with yourself as well as the ones you love.