What Will Our Families Think?

April 18, 2014

Another one on the heels of yesterday’s post. This time, renewing our wedding vows and family angst over that. This is from “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”.

And what will our families think about us renewing our wedding vows? My mom asked why we were doing that. My sister had no negative comment. Who knows what my kids or yours think of the idea? Will all of them really be happy that we, God forbid, are happy and wish to do this? Or will they think it is silly? Or will they simply show up and say or think nothing one way or the other? Or even feel uncomfortable in some way that we cannot know? I have no idea right now; surely one could expect a buffet of emotional dishes to be served up during the event, even though such things may be kept from us out of being polite.

As you have asked before, why aren’t they happy for us? Well, I think they mostly are happy for us now. Either they have gotten used to us being together or they really like the fact we are a couple. I hope it is the latter but still I have my doubts about what some of our family really thinks I think you would agree. And as we have remarked to one another, they will expect us to agree with their choices for mates or relationships without any dissent being tolerated.

One way or the other we are a couple and will be until one of us dies, and afterwards even since the ties of family live on after its members pass on. They will need to get used to the idea of Jeff and Stephanie Turner as a couple, won’t they? Not Jeff Turner and Stephanie Long as it were before we wed. That era of our lives is gone forever. And good riddance to being single I say, being married is so much more satisfying in so many ways. And I should be a good thing to be married, and it is with us.

And therein lays the ultimate reason why they should be glad we are renewing our wedding vows, reenacting our marriage ceremony as it were. That we are happy together should raise their spirits not dismay them. Wouldn’t they want us to be happy for them if the roles were reversed? Maybe as they see us enjoying each other perhaps they will learn from our unintended example, that two people can be happy and love each other in spite of life’s problems and issues and our own personalities. That perhaps they could learn how to be happy with someone, knowing full well that no couple is a perfect match ever and that no one is perfect and without past mistakes, and also rejoice at our happiness.

And one day apply those lessons to their lives, by finding a good mate and a good relationship that we also could enjoy and be happy to see. Hopefully one day some of our kids will invite us to see their vows re-lived, and remember that in a way we taught them to do that purely out of our love for each other.

Jeff To Stephanie July 17, 2007


Almost Married One Year

April 17, 2014

This is from “Notes to Stephanie: Middle Aged Life Letters And Life Stories”. It was written when we had been married a little short of one year and were looking back over the events of those hectic and sometimes troubling past few months. It has the recognition of the past hard times and also the hope of better things to come.

Yes dearest, we are about to be married for an entire year. And what a busy year it has been. We have, and still are, blending our two households, dealing with our brood of kids and their growing up trials and tribulations, and of course getting to know each other better each day. Yes indeed we HAVE been busy. And it seems the “to do” list is not getting any shorter. But that is OK I guess, I think most people do not have lives that are without events and tasks.

But back on being married for a year my love. Looking back over the time since we met, our lives are very different than they were. Certainly that is a statement of the obvious, how could our lives be the same after being wed? They couldn’t, they had to change. It has become something new for us, and for our families too even though in some cases they show angst or other emotions that to us are alien given the fact that we are together due to our love for each other. If two people receive ill-will due to a positive thing like true love, what on earth would they get if their reason for being together were less than good or usurious? I don’t want to know actually, our lives as they are seem to be complicated enough some days. In the end, life did mutate into another organism, a different species of existence regardless of what form others outside of our orb thought we would, or should, possess.

And this pattern of change will continue. As we are together our lives will change more over the years, much of the time due to people outside of our doors and events outside of our control. But also due to how we keep learning to understand each other and live with each other. Even when we have fussed, we have learned something positive as a result. And when we don’t fuss we certainly also gain knowledge about the other as well.

So more years will pass being together my Stephanie dear; I look forward to them even though we will be getting old for sure. That is OK too, we will enjoy each other’s company as we enter into the twilight of our own lives even as our four kids enter into the prime of their own. This is the natural order of things; this is how it should be. We will move across the horizon of our own distant wedding anniversaries yet to come and unseen over time, one after another each year we are one. And we will be changed by our travels through life together. Changed into something better, and greater, than what we are now.

Jeff To Stephanie July 17, 2007


April 15, 2014

This Note from ‘Notes to Stephanie: Middle Aged Love letters And Life stories” talks about how couples are alike but yet different. Their “yin and yang” that makes them one.

I do love you my dearest Stephanie. Even with some of things in your personality that drive me to near insanity on occasion. Well, not really that far my dear, but like all couples we both irk each other some. But you know, the things that bug me about you relate to the fact they are in areas where we are opposite. Like me being regimented and into planning and you being impulsive. These are things that are basic to our beings. Thus, when they appear they perhaps cause more emotional angst than they otherwise would. Thus, when something happens in such an area, it does cause a few sparks.

Well, we know that we are alike but yet different. Regardless of the areas of difference, we are more alike than we are different. And the areas of personality convergence are in the areas of life that we hold to be important: being faithful, working hard, doing the right thing, loving our kids & families, and things we enjoy doing for fun. To us, those are the values and habits that are at our cores and also make a person good, happy, and productive. Those are the most important things to us in life in short. Therefore, these other parts of our personalities are not so important in day to day life are they?

Well, these other areas can be important too since they still relate to the persons we are at a basic level. So we have to be mindful of how those things are perceived by each other. And sometimes adjust some of our behaviors for each other. And at the same time know that we both love each other without hesitation. In the end, this love is what keeps us patient with each other as we still get to know each other more deeply, even after being together a whole year.

So all in all, I know we are happy being married to each other. Both of us know we cannot imagine not being together. Truly, if we had not married or delayed our wedding we would have been unwise. It is natural for us to be a couple, and that is how we shall stay to the end of our lives. Joined at the hip even though when some differences arise we may want to squirm away from each other, the ties that bind us together as one remain strong and alive as they were in the early days of our romance when our love blossomed and bloomed so large and bright.

Jeff to Stephanie July 12, 2007

Our Kids, Our Kids

April 14, 2014

Kids leaving the nest and finding their own way is something I write about a lot. Here is another Note covering that topic from “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”.

Our kids, our kids, our kids. Just in this week so far we have some adventures with them right? From the 5:30AM call from Son about your daughter to my daughter’s pleasant visit we have experienced an array of things have we not? Such swings of things are par for the course aren’t they? Or is it fate or just chance? Who knows, it is what it is. Such things will transpire at this stage in our lives as our kids grow up. Certainly we should be prepared for more of such things I would say.

It just goes to show that we are spectators as we have discussed many times. And it shows that as time goes on, things will many times straighten themselves out. Or turn the other way too. Or still seethe in the background. In the end, with four kids becoming young adults, there will be many things that will surprise us over the next several years. Some will please us, some will try us, and some will no doubt sadden us too. As we think back about our own lives, certainly we caused the same reactions ourselves. Such stuff is the nature of maturing I say.

So what do we do in reaction to these things? As I said we are mostly spectators, we can’t do much even if we wanted to about how our kids live their lives. Nor should we really. They are adults now, well most of them anyway, but regardless they are free to choose how to live their lives and proceed with their existences without our approval or supervision. Of course, they should accord us the same thing. God forbid, their parents can have lives and love too? Surely not they might say. Surely we can live our life too I say my dear. We can still care for our kids and at the same time love them, help them, and be good to them.

Certainly, this is not a contradiction. Certainly, this is how it should be as our nest is emptied and our little birds fly off to who knows where on their own. What is not certain is where our nestlings will themselves build their own nests. What tree, or in what forest, they will someday land on is unknown. Over time they will have to visit our little nest and let us know won’t they? Maybe bringing their own little noisy hatchlings to see us two old birds as our feathers get grayer.

Jeff To Stephanie June 6, 2007

The Ebb And Flow Of Life

April 13, 2014

Being parents of young adults is not always easy – you can only do so much as life’s eddies and tides flow to and from. This is from “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”.

The ebb and flow of life. Life, like the ocean’s tides, rises and falls around us doesn’t it my dearest? Like the ongoing messes with our bunch of kids. One set of children calms down while the other set of offspring presents us with a new set of issues.

This rise and fall of waters that is sometimes rough pulls at our heart strings and tugs at our very being. If we did not feel these things we would not care for our common brood. But we do feel these things and thus we know we love our kids and feel for them, especially when some of them are hurting due to worrisome and negative forces besieging them that are outside of our household and our direct control. And are certainly not within their power to directly influence in some cases either.

I guess this seemingly constant series of ups and downs is just the nature of life at this stage of our existence perhaps. We see events that certainly indicate our kids are growing up, but also events that indicate that they still have more lessons to learn and choices that they must eventually make so that their adult lives will be good.

The difficulty with this situation is that we, in different degrees, want to solve their problems and be done with the difficulties. But therein lays the dilemma. We can’t solve their problems ultimately. They as adults, or young adults, still have the responsibility to make their own decisions and choose their own path, wherever that leads them for better or worse. We can only watch and facilitate at this juncture. We can’t do everything for them like we could when they were little. Even though with hearts that ache for them, and sometimes eyes shrouded by tears for their hardships, and even agonies, we can really do so little for them.

Knowing that and watching them succeed or fail is hard since we love them. But sitting in our spectator’s seats while they are out on the field playing the game of life is what we must do. They have to make the calls and execute the plays in order for them to grow up into good and responsible adults. We can’t do that for them. If one still tries to do that it will also make it hard to enjoy our own game and its plays. While we love our kids and will help them, we have to live our life too. We can’t live their lives for them. Remember, there is nothing wrong with enjoying what we have with each other; we have the right to be with each other, and happily love, and joyously live our own lives as we get older together. Our four kids will hopefully realize these truths as they mature and they themselves one day get to the same stage of life as we now find ourselves in. Thus, life will also ebb and flow for them too. The tides of their own life oceans will find their way as it has ultimately with ours.

Jeff To Stephanie June 1, 2007

Another Year For Us Now Begins

April 7, 2014

This Note is from “Notes To Stephanie: Middle Aged Love Letters And Life Stories”. It is a tale of a new year – in terms of our anniversary – and some continued troubles with our grown kids which I allude to. It uses some obvious metaphors for what was going on then a few years ago.

Another year for us now begins, or will on Wednesday depending on how we count the days my dear. Certainly, we could start the new married year from last Saturday when we renewed our vows, and thus married each other again with the good Reverend Roach once more officiating for us. Maybe this year will feature less emotional angst from the family side of our lives; it feels like we have never had much of a break from those trials since we wed 363 days ago. It seems like no one is ever pleased with what we do, yet we never publicly criticize their actions for the most part or question their right to have their own life and choice of existence.

And why is this happening to us? Is it just because we dared to marry and love one another without their permission? I really am not sure. Of course, we have talked about the many currents flowing in this raging emotional river, and it is true that there are many reasons for all of this angst and outright anger. But the causative agents for this series of out of control relationship reactions are still baffling and almost incomprehensible from the standpoint of simple logic and of course the obvious reality of their sources which we both can see. But at some point, I simply have to say enough is enough. I sort of did that Sunday, did I not? Someday soon, this boil has to be burst and the pressure relieved. I do not really want to not have contact with our kin, but sometimes that harsh and simplistic remedy has a certain appeal to me, and to you too as well it seems.

So once more, our special day together was followed by someone in the family laying all blame on our doorstep for their own and other’s behavior. And certainly no one asked us how our little occasion went did they? Maybe that says it all. Our behavior, which is pretty innocent, seems to always be questioned while the action of others is accepted without question or query. This constant conflict will most likely have no real end and will be a permanent part of our life I am afraid. If this prediction is correct, our only sure course of action to simply keep our distance in a sense.

We shall offer up our love, communication, and time to be together in fellowship, but at the same time we will not beg for the reciprocation of others. The invitation will be made, but if none accepts it that will be the way it is. We will have to preserve our life together against the feelings of others that are not at all positive to us.

In this rough sea of family tides, we will simply have to make for a safe harbor in each other’s arms and in our home. I do not want us to behave like our home is a fortress that only protects us against flights of angry arrows fired upon us, I want it instead to be a place where all of the family is welcome and sees that our life together is a good thing and that our love is true and not a threat to them.

But again, many winds blow against our ship’s sails from more than one quarter and it is hard for us to steer clear around the sometimes deadly shoals to calmer waters. But steer clear we must, we have the right to chart our own course as everyone else seems to be doing with the ships of their own lives. Having our own voyage through life is our due, as it is theirs. But we don’t have to chart our course with maps and navigation of their sole choosing. Certainly we wish no one else a rough journey, far from it. We want all of our kin, whether they are ours through blood or by our marriage, to also reach a calm sea to sail upon to their own chosen port of call. We simply want to do that too, and thus we two will be together as shipmates on our lifetime cruise to an island paradise of love, to a peaceful beach of belonging to one another under a blue sky free from storms and gales.

Jeff To Stephanie, October 29, 2007

I Found This Picture

April 2, 2014

Many of t he Notes in my first book, “Notes To Stephanie; Middle Aged Love letters And Life Stories”, were very short. Short but they still made a point. I refer to a picture and I found it and have put it in the post .forever_sky

I found this picture yesterday. See the little speck of the truck way down the road? I like to think that represents you and I years from now, with the foreground being the present time of our lives. The broad prairie is the rich canvass of life that the universe has painted for us. We are traveling down life’s road with each other to wherever it takes us together, and forever, in love. Not looking back but looking ahead to what is over the horizon. Certainly we have had a few bumps in the road from things like the kids, and other things in our past lives, but it has to smooth out sometime soon doesn’t it? Yes, smooth like the road in the picture, and straight to where we want to go with our life together.

I hope we can get away one weekend soon and drive to someplace like that picture. Just you and me and some timeless space far away from the places of our daily life whose expanse will surround and swallow us, but give us rest from the things that have beset us so regularly since we wed almost four months ago.

Jeff To Stephanie, February 23, 2007