My dearest son,
You’ve found the one your heart longs for, the one made for you and you for her. She arrived most unexpectedly. You weren’t even looking, but suddenly, there she was. Four days before you and she first talked for hours, you announced you weren’t planning to date for several years. And the two of you have been inseparable ever since. The Author wrote her into your story with His signature flourish. Sheer gift.
With all my heart I rejoice. And I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes love last…
We’d been married a year when I stood next to your dad in front of a very old, saggy house with a for-sale sign stuck in the yard. From the second I spotted the fanciful little flower in the peak of its roof, I knew it was a happy house. We scraped together every penny we owned and made it ours. Much to our parents’ chagrin. But they scheduled work days, lugged along tools, and helped us fix it up. There was one thing we didn’t know about the house until summer yielded to fall. Then, the cold set in. We wore gloves to play cards at the kitchen table. And heavy coats. Apparently, when the builders constructed the house in 1876, they forgot insulation. Or maybe people were just hardier back then. Whatever the reason, when the wind blew against the the windows, shut tight, the curtains fluttered. We just laughed and held each others’ (mittened) hands, overwhelmed with the gift of getting to do it together. We only stayed one year. But that terribly cold and brilliantly happy winter proved that all a heart needs to stay warm is love. It stoked the flame that still burns hot and bright twenty-seven years later.
Of course the years ahead brought more challenges than a cold house. Misunderstandings, disagreements, illnesses, and diseases and deaths of loved ones. Twelve years into our marriage, half a globe separated us for seven and a half harrowing months during the international adoption of your sister. But even when I couldn’t clasp your dad’s hand, knowing we were in it together carried me through many agonizing moments. Although unable to see or touch each other, we fought back to back, for each other and for our family. In the hands of the Master Author, what might have destroyed our story only strengthened it.
I’ve lived long enough to see many marriages crumble and many end. Sometimes sliced through by unforeseen circumstances and sometimes cut off by death. It’s sobering and humbling. It’s made me grateful for every day with the man I love. And it drives me deep into the heart of the Author, begging Him to write the next word. Without a doubt, love is sheer gift.
You know this. I see it when you look at each other. The wonder that you get to do this together. Always remember Who gave you to each other and keep alive that flame of gratitude, day after day, year after year. Without a doubt, you’ll have light and heat for a lifetime.
(And, if you happen to buy an old, saggy house, I’ll be there in a heartbeat, tools in hand, to help you fix it up.)
Always know that I’ll always love you,
Richard and Kaye (Jenness) Ferguson, married 44 years until separated by death.
Dan and Joann (Stanley) Briggs, married 59 years and counting.
David and Colleen (Ferguson) Briggs, married 28 years and counting.
Join me at the crossroads of faith, mercy, and creative expression. You are invited to my quarterly artist/author newsletter: subscribe