A Pretty Sweet Thing

No long-term marriage is made easily, and there have been times when I’ve been so angry or so hurt that I thought my love would never recover. And then, in the midst of near despair, something has happened beneath the surface. A bright little flashing fish of hope has flicked silver fins and the water is bright and suddenly I am returned to a state of love again — till next time. I’ve learned that there will always be a next time, and that I will submerge in darkness and misery, but that I won’t stay submerged. And each time something has been learned under the waters; something has been gained; and a new kind of love has grown. The best I can ask for is that this love, which has been built on countless failures, will continue to grow. I can say no more than that this is mystery, and gift, and that somehow or other, through grace, our failures can be redeemed and blessed.

Madeleine L’Engle

Gerry moves into the left turning lane at the bottom of the hill.

”Where are you going?” I ask.

”To Starbucks,” he says. “You said you wanted to go to Starbucks.”

I clarify my suggestion that we stop for coffee and a festive turkey and stuffing sandwich at my favourite coffee shop—the one that’s attached to the bookstore on the other side of town. (Coffee and books: the ultimate perfect combination.)

“Not this one! This one is filled with school kids at this time of day. Haven’t you learned to read my mind yet?” I smile, and my husband returns a grin.

We’ve been married almost twenty years and still, the mind reading doesn’t occur as often as would be optimum—on both sides. It makes life interesting sometimes. He moves back into the through lane, and we continue on our way.

Before long, we’re settled at a table in my favourite coffee shop, munching on turkey sandwiches and sipping caramel macchiatos.

“Isn’t this a great place?” Colour me content as I sit here in my favourite bookstore with my love, a favourite seasonal treat, and coffee. It’s the sweetest moment in the middle of the day—and one reason I enjoy Christmas shopping with my husband.

“It’s a nice atmosphere,” Gerry allows.

I know he doesn’t get the same little thrill when he walks in this place that I do, but he makes an effort because he loves me. I appreciate it so much. The lack of mind reading doesn’t even matter when we do things like this for one another. That’s marriage, and it’s a pretty sweet thing.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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