The end of the week we will be celebrating Labor Day weekend. A weekend for one more family reunion and/or trip. It is a time of saying good-bye to summer and gearing ourselves up for Fall activities. As for me, Labor Day is a mile marker for me.
Let’s God Back A Few Years
Thirty-two years ago in the midst of an orientation activity my husband, Jim comes up to me and says; “hello.” It was at that moment when our eyes met that I knew that this was not an ordinary hello. It was a hello that I knew would last a lifetime.
If you have read any of my other post/anniversary letters to Jim, you know that he and I were on summer staff at Lake Junaluska, NC. He was from Kentucky and I was from Georgia. As the two of us began to date that summer, Jim made it clear that he was not a fan of a long distance relationship. Personally, I was not a big fan of a long distance relationship either. Yet, we continued to date and grow closer to one another.
Mid-August came and it was time for Jim to pack and head home to Kentucky and for me to pack to head home to Georgia. On our last morning just before saying good-bye, Jim brought me a red rose. He assured me that the good-bye was not a permanent one. We begin to talk on how we would continue to be a part of each other’s lives despite the distance.
A few days after returning home, Jim called me. He said he had checked into flights from Atlanta to Lexington, KY for me to come up to visit on Labor Day weekend. We worked out the logistics of the trip. Labor Day weekend of 1983 I found myself in uncharted waters. These uncharted waters included flying alone for the first time, going to a place where my family had driven through a few times on vacations and beginning a relationship that was more than a high school crush/summer love. On that Friday as I boarded the plane, I was excited and yet a bit nervous.
After a layover and changing planes I found myself once again in uncharted waters, I found myself looking out the plane window of beautiful horse country as the plane descended to land in Lexington. Then, as I departed from the plane, there stood Jim smiling the same smile he had the first time he said hello to me.
It has been thirty-two years since that first hello. Yet, each time I meet Jim for lunch, when he walks in a room or simply calls from work, I still hear that first hello he said to me. I still see that same smile he gave me.
After thirty-two years of being together and thirty years this November of marriage, Jim and I have stood many tests during this time. We have had the rug unexpectedly pulled out from under us a time or two. We have had our differences in opinion. Jim and I have shared a lot of laughter and a lot of tears through the years. There have been times when we have looked at each other and simultaneously said; “really?”. No matter the experiences good or bad Jim and I have never doubted God. Just as we put our relationship into God’s hands on that last summer morning before we returned to our homes, we have trusted God and His leading. It is trusting God and His leading that has given us blessings beyond measure.