Waiting For Me

I was walking with my family through a park in Belmont last weekend.    Five of us and our granddaughter.   At one point, I detoured for a minute to look at an interesting tree.  When I returned to the path, my family was a good bit ahead, so I picked up my pace.   Then I looked ahead and I saw my wife Barb waiting for me.
 
As I got closer, I could see her looking at me pleasantly.   Just waiting for Jimmy was the look she had.   I was very struck at that moment how grateful I felt for her to be waiting for me to catch up.  She looked fresh and unfiltered and just in-the-moment.  Just waiting for Jimmy. No big deal.  
 
I hugged her and told her how much I appreciated her waiting for me.   
 
A decades-long relationship like ours is made up of ten thousand small actions that add up to something.    Small kindnesses that we do for each other because we are in it for the long haul.   Giving and receiving.   Hopefully, much, much more giving and receiving than hurting and being hurt.   Lots of small choices.   
 
As Joseph Campbell said,   
 
“Marriage is not a love affair, it’s an ordeal.  It is a religious exercise, a sacrament, the grace of participating in another life.”
 
“The question is, can I open myself to compassion.  Compassion for me is just what the word says;  it is “suffering with.”  It is an immediate participation in the suffering of another to such a degree that you forget yourself and your own safety and spontaneously do what’s necessary.”

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