A few weeks ago Richard and I celebrated twenty eight years of marriage. I began the day in my usual fashion, out on the lanai having my quiet time with God. My husband was inside having his quiet time too, and through the open door I could feel the connection as we each experienced our own unique relationship with God. As I read my various daily reflections, the meaning of that day slowly sank in.
We had known each other for almost twenty nine years. I met Richard towards the end of July 1983, and we married on 24 March 1984. It was a bit of a scary time for me. I had been married once before for almost ten very unhappy years and it had been ten years since I had separated and consequently divorced that man. I had lived much of that previous marriage emotionally alone, and had become very independent and self-sufficient in the ensuing ten years. Oh, and did I mention that Richard is almost twenty years my junior??
I thought back to that time after Richard asked me to marry him and remembered how much praying and self-questioning I went through. I had also insisted that we speak with the priest and go through counseling, and then I went on a retreat to distance myself from the relationship for forty eight hours, just to have some clarity and see if I had any different thoughts and feelings about the situation. After doing everything I thought I should do to be sure of how I felt, we went ahead and married.
I sat there on the twenty fourth of March this year with a very full heart as I traveled back in time, and the prevailing thought was “where had all those twenty eight years gone?”. The words from a well-known Christian song came to mind: “in the blink of an eye”. As I said goodbye to Richard that morning (he had a day-long class he had to attend), I remembered our first real kiss. It had me blushing for a moment because it was a very incredible and passionate kiss and I remember thinking that I could just have floated off in that kiss all those years ago. But it was also a very tender kiss, and I think that’s what sold me on Richard from the very first – he was such a tender person. Tender-hearted as a person as well as tender towards me, and others.
If I needed any other evidence of the years we have been together, we have a twenty seven-year old daughter, Melissa, who is proof-positive that all those “blink-of-an-eye” years really existed. I remember very well appearing in a play, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, when I was about six months pregnant with her, and my eldest son, Marco, from my first marriage, break dancing day in and day out during the pregnancy. Melissa was born to the rhythm of break dance.
While Richard was in class, I got on with my day and couldn’t help but notice in great detail the contents of our home, which is something between an art gallery and a curio shop. There are paintings and photos all over the walls. The paintings come from many different places that either Richard has travelled to during his years in the Navy or that we both have travelled to together. Then there are the statues and figurines that cover every shelf and available surface throughout the house. Many people are quite taken aback when they visit our home for the first time because of all “the stuff”. But everything is a joyful representation of the years that we have been together and the memories that we have created.
When Rich came home from class, we got ready to go out and celebrate our anniversary. First we went to the El Apache restaurant to enjoy a delicious Mexican meal. With tummies pleasantly full we then headed over to the Thrasher-Horne Center for Arts to see a show. A few weeks earlier, at a silent auction fund-raiser at our church, we had won the bid on two tickets for The Peking Acrobats which were dated twenty four March. I think the only reason we bid on them was because the date was the same as our anniversary. The show was quite breathtaking and very exciting and it was a great way to celebrate the day.
However, we didn’t quite finish the celebrations at that point. Instead of heading home, Richard pointed the car in the other direction. You see, he has an absolute weakness for Shakes, a small drive up cubicle that sells shakes and sundaes made with frozen custard. And so we completed our evening enjoying our favorites: for Rich this was a strawberry milkshake, extra thick; for me it was a kiddy-cup with one small scoop of vanilla frozen custard topped with a healthy drizzle of caramel – yum. A perfect finish to a perfect evening, and here’s to number twenty nine!!
Today I received an incredible gift. Actually I received two gifts: I treated myself to a wonderful facial and during the facial I was gifted with an amazing vision.
I believe that visions come through in very spiritual moments in our life. Moments of grace that open the heart and the mind in a very unique way that allows a connection on another level. I have experienced a few of these as I have grown on my spiritual path. Today’s was very special.
I have mentioned my wonderful massage therapist, Michael, in previous postings. He and his wife, Elisha own a studio together. She is presently about seven months pregnant (and glows with it too!!), and has chosen to take a break from giving full body massage until after the baby is born.
However, she has started offering thirty minute cleansing facials which do not tax her so physically because for the most part she is seated. For me, receiving a facial is the next best piece of heaven after massage, so I lost no time in making an appointment.
Elisha has a soft, gentle, calming spirit and it was very easy to feel comfortable with her. As soon as she placed her hands on my face I knew the session was going to be very special: I felt a golden thread connecting us. My breathing deepened immediately and I was aware of being restored on every level.
Although I was deeply relaxed under Elisha’s touch, I was also very alert. I registered the different aromas diffused in each product that she used at the various stages of the facial process. I was very aware of the changing directions of the strokes she used on my face without interrupting the flow of touch and movement, as well as the slightly different pressure she applied from time to time. And how I reveled in the warmth of the hot towels between each stage of the facial.
Then suddenly, somewhere in the middle of the treatment, I became aware of a soft golden glow that appeared in front of me. It slowly brightened until it shimmered in an incredible brilliant sea of light. And there in the middle, floating contentedly was a baby, and I knew I was seeing Elisha’s son.
The whole vision was simply magnificent and I felt almost breathless. Then in the same way that it had slowly manifested, so it faded away. I wanted to cry out, “No, don’t go yet.” But the gift was complete and I felt so privileged to have received it.
As well as feeling greatly restored and full of peace after my treatment, I was also full of gratitude. Visions do not come along very often and I truly appreciate their God-given presence in my life. And how much more of a blessing this gift was as I was able, with great joy, to share it with Elisha.