Ray and I would have been married 35 years today and I’m remembering a wonderful man.
Ray came on the scene in the midst of my grief at the loss of my first husband and during my battles with Almighty God. I’m fully convinced God sent him to me.
Ray, my bull-in-a-china-closet husband—those of you who knew him understand this, was patient and kind. He understood; he had lost his wife of many years the year before. He prayed for and with me for five long dark years. He told me after we married God had made it clear to him that we would marry someday. He said he didn’t want to tell me that before because he was fearful it would scare me away!
Love and marriage in older years is different from the falling in love of the young. We’ve had a lot of life experiences and we see differently than we did in our young days. It was the slow steady growing of a deep love that blossomed over time. And eventually we made a loving caring decision to share a life together. It is two people who look at one another in full realization of each others’ personality, including faults, and make the choice to love.
There have been two incredible men in my life, two men who could not have been more different and two completely different lifestyles. Having lived both marriages, the young falling in love one and the mature choosing to love marriage, I want to say both can be wonderful, one is not necessarily better than the other, just different.
Being a writer, I tend to look at my life in chapters and there was a long period of solitude between these two chapters. Not a happy one, but one filled with grief and the struggle to find out who I was without a husband and to find a purpose in life. Lots of wakeful nights filled with tears, hot milk, and candlelight while wrestling with Almighty God over being alone.
Somehow God always makes Himself very clear in my mind. He lets me rant and rave until I am worn out and have no other place to go then He steps in and says, “I’m here. I’m waiting for you. When you settle down, we’ll get on with your life.” He never rushes me. He is a patient, merciful, and generous God who waits for each of us to find our way to Him. And when we do He says, “Welcome, I love you.”
When Ray departed for his heavenly home in 2011, the dark days settled in again, but not the wrestling with God this time. I knew He was with me and would carry me, and He has. Getting old alone is not what I would have chosen, and truthfully I wonder why it has to be, but I no longer question God’s plan. My days were written in God’s book (Psalm 139) before I ever came to be, and while I’d like to know more, it’s probably best I don’t. I’d always be worried about the future and not living in the present. Remember, the present moment is really all we have; yesterday is gone and tomorrow never comes.
Day by day, I often close my eyes and remember the many blessings and happiness of the chapters of my life secure in the knowledge that God walks with me every day. So where am I going with this long tale—I’m not really sure except to say that the only one who will be with you every day and every minute of your life is Almighty God. And He never fails you.
For the rest of the story—I’ve been assured the best is yet to be, and I’m excited to see what unfolds each day, and what will be beyond this earthly realm. Life is not over when we leave earth and move to heaven!
I’m not certain how things work in heaven, but I do know that my Bill and my Ray will be waiting for me. There will be a grand reunion with rejoicing, and all will be made right with no more tears or sadness.
And what a day that will be, so until then …