Many times we have said: It doesn’t matter where we are, as long as we’re together. There is truth in that statement. It is always better to be together than to be apart. In the past few months we have been both together and apart. In August I was getting ready to present a seminar in Haiti and very busy, so Rita went to Texas for a week to visit enjoy time with our grandchildren while Dan and Rhonda took some time away together. I missed her when she wasn’t here, just to chat and sometimes help me work out something for the seminar. On the other hand, I was working toward a deadline and didn’t have to make excuses for putting in long days.
The last two weeks of August we spent in Haiti presenting the seminar. Rita was with me and a great help assisting me with a variety of tasks, including leading some of the activities. We have worked together in teaching and presenting retreats for many years and that is always a good time for us. We each enjoy listening to the other and being able to jump in to support the other. I like to watch and marvel at how well she works with people. The down side of those two weeks was that living conditions weren’t great and I had to spend each evening preparing for the next day. Her presence there made it easier for me, event though we didn’t have much time or place to just relax together.
In mid September we left the Chicago area on a 20-day, 5000 mile drive through the western U.S. Those days we spent ALL of our time together. In the first two days we were in the car together for 1100 mi. We spent some time talking about many topics, from the scenery to praying together to talking about our lives and our future to comfortable periods of silence. Some days we were in and out of the car as we shared views of magnificent scenery. They were special days as we had little distraction from just being together and enjoying the beauty of God’s creation.
In early November we went back to Texas – together this time. Next we will go to Connecticut for Thanksgiving with our daughter’s family and two of our sons will be there with their families. Family times are always good. We get along well and have a great time together. At the same time there is some stress staying in someone else’s home. The kids acknowledge this is true for them when they visit us. One of the issues for us is that sometimes it takes effort to get a little time alone and connect with each other.
Sometimes it is good to be home – just the two of us – where there is a level of comfort and routine that, for us, is fairly relaxed most of the time. We can each do separate things in different parts of the house, but periodically wander where the other is and talk for a few minutes or pass by and connect with a silent touch – Rita likes to kiss me on the top of my head as she goes by. Home is an anchor, a place to always go back to.
So it is true that it is enough to be together, no matter where we are, but it is also true that we experience our relationship differently in different places and that is also very good for us.
We thank God this Thanksgiving for all the good things we have, for the opportunity to live for a time in different places, and especially for family, friends and all the good people who bless our lives.
We wish you a blessed and thankful holiday.
Please leave your comments below.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Living Together in the Word
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.
On our calendar: Great Expectations – at Queen of the Rosary Parish, Elk Grove Village, IL February 14, 2015. Married couples and engaged couples are invited.