The picture you see with this story is one I took last year while my wife Helen and I were standing on a bridge overlooking a Park in Florida where there were Manatees swimming in the warm waters.
I glanced down at the shallows and I saw our shadows on the waters and I laughed. There we were, two old people standing on a bridge and casting our shadows onto the shoreline on this beautiful day.
Helen asked me what was so funny, and I pointed to our shadows on the water and I told her.
“Girl! Look! Those shadows are reflections of us now; two old people on a bridge. It’s obvious even in these shadows that we’re not what we once were, physically.
I was just imagining the two of us coming back here each year and staring closely at our shadows wondering if these images of us will be as robust and sharp and they are today?”
Helen looked at me and I figured she would laugh at my imaginings and we would on, but instead, she smiled at me and took my hand. We stood there for a while, on that bridge, hand-in-hand, staring at our shadows as we both thought on our lives and our aging bodies and eventually the end of our days.
Anyway, we moved on and I’m sure she forgot all about that moment of ours, standing together on that rickety wooden bridge.
Well time moved on for us and last week, we made a Holiday of our 50th anniversary together. We stayed for a week in an apartment in the old part of Savannah and we made no set touristy plans; rather we just just roamed around Savannah over that week, soaking in the history, the weather, and the beauty of this old city.
Of course I would be a fool if I didn’t say we enjoyed the city itself, but the best part of the say was that we enjoyed seeing, eating and walking our way around Savannah, together; just the two of us.
We soaked in the history of the place and we laughed a lot; sometimes just at things we saw or read and at other times at some of the people walking by us as we sat sat around in so many of the sidewalk cafes.
That’s the kind of thing we often do at our age. We laugh at other younger people who are working, struggling even, on their own lifestyle and life goals. We’re not malicious you see, its just that we see so many people doing and saying things that make Helen and I say to ourselves; “Been There, Done That”.
You see, we may be old but our experiences together should leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that we are a couple, a pair, actually I like to say, a single life-force, neither half of which would probably function very long, without the other being there without the other’s support.
After fifty years together, we know what the word commitment means. We started our life together as individuals with so many differences, bad habits and idiosyncrasies that most people would never have given our marriage a chance for survival.
But one day, long ago, we made a commitment, to each other and to God!
We stood there and we both swore that we would walk through life together, taking the Good with the Bad, and working things out as we went along.
Sure, there have been arguments, and disagreements, but there have been many more days of Love and affection, and we used these differences to build an eternal partnership.
And as partners, we have marched through the years of our life together over this past half-century, growing older and yet, growing stronger as a couple.
Reflecting on what I have just written so far, I can say that we are no longer that pair of vibrant, physical animals we were when we eloped so long ago and walked into that office in Reidsville, NC, held each other’s hand, and made our promises to each other.
But I can also say that, just like those two people in the picture whose bodies are now shadows of what they once were, our real strength resides in the support and Love we give each other.
Inevitably we will both leave this planet, when our bodies give up the fight for that next breath, in it’s need to stay alive; moving on to that promised afterlife; and our shadows on the waters will be gone, forever.
One of us will probably go before the other leaving the one remaining to exist alone and without their life-mate. The one left here, must bide its time until their body gives up so their souls can also departure from this Earth.
But considering the hope of an eternity together, this wait will only be for a short while before the two of us can be together again for our next great adventure; traveling and living yet another life together.
And when we do see each other again, I’ll just grab her hand, look into her eyes and say; “OK, Let’s Go Punk! We Got Things to Do!”
Oh what an adventure that next life time together will be for my wife and I. Oh what an Adventure!
by DON BOBBITT, MAY, 13, 2018
Copyright, Don Bobbitt, May 13,2018, All Rights Reserved.
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