Living Different Lives Together

We frequently laugh with our friends, Lynn and Gary, because every time they talk about somewhere they went or something they did, they disagree about details. We laugh that they went on different vacations together. Maybe we laugh because Jim and I see ourselves in the mirror they are holding up.

We have always been very close, enjoying doing things together. Someone in our past complained that we were too close, we spent too much time together. Fifty-nine years doesn’t feel like too much togetherness because now we fear that we don’t have enough years left. Its not that we have big goals like starting a new family or building new careers. No, we just hope we have a few more years for camping in the Upper Peninsula, working in the flower beds on warm Spring days, eating eggs and pecan pancakes at the counter at Blueberries, and running over to the grocery for some milk and carrots. We want more time for laughing with family and friends, or talking, just the two of us.

I’ve noticed that our conversations, as we are doing and going, are lit by little jolts of memory, flashbacks to earlier experiences. Flashbacks of things our children said or did, vacations we took, people we knew during all those growing-up-together years, things we both remember, usually. What differs are the details. He remembers my father telling about Grandpa building his house and I remember being in my parent’s kitchen. He remembers changing the flat tire on the trailer and I remember fixing peanut butter sandwiches and grapes for the kids to eat while sitting on the grass along the side of the road. Maybe when the pieces of our differing memories are put together, they create an accurate picture. Maybe they make up an interesting fairy tale.

Who cares. What I treasure is the joy I experience as new days together with Jim and new observations we share with each other are enriched by the intertwining of memories of the different lives we lived together.

13 Comments »

  1. Yes, I have a similar experience with my spouse. We seem to remember totally different details of past events. Revisiting those memories brings them back to life and reminds me we have written our own unique history as a couple over the last 42 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So beautiful to read this and 59 years is such a great span of time to be with someone so kindred – and I like the point about how memories are so selective and collectively give a full picture –
    And is that art in the opening photo? It looks cool

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    • Hi Prior, The art is from one of a collection of sculptures made of mirrors that was on exhibit at the Naples, Florida Botanical Garden. Thanks for your very kind comment.

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  3. Same here both in the details and the desires. I joke that my husband and I read different newspapers in the morning – we look at the same sections – but he will see something I totally missed and vice versa

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  4. I so enjoy witnessing some of those memory conversations.
    I appreciate your candid comments about a long lasting marriage.
    Love to you both.

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