October 12, 2017

     

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From the beginning of our intimate relations, it seemed that two in a bed, with love between them, comprised the heart and soul of life's meaning and purpose. A place to go to at the end of a day. A place to rise from in the morning, facing new days with hope and determination. Being with Barbara seemed the filling of my cup. All that I had lacked seemed wonderfully present. A sense of home. A sense of family. All blessed by the presence of love in its early stages.

Though Barbara occupied the centre of my attention, the kids also brought me delights and challenges. From the beginning it seemed clear that my love for her would benefit by my care for them. Day by day getting to know each of them in their special way. Tucking the girl in at bedtime was delightful. She was full of questions. About the universe and just about anything in it. The boy was reserved. A simple good night served our budding relationship well enough. He had a deep interest in cars. I asked if he would enjoy going to a race event not far out of the city. He thought it a good idea. On the day we got into the car. As I started the engine he turned to face me. As long as you don't think this is some kind of father and son thing. I told him it wasn't. Just two persons interested in cars. Not the whole truth but sufficient for the moment.

Barbara and I understood ourselves to be married in the sight of God. We began exploring a public expression of this. One of our first steps was to consult with the elders of our faith community. At the first hearing they were very happy for us. They knew me and my long history of being alone in the world. Second thought changed their perspective. Barbara was divorced. Scripture clearly taught that marriage to a divorced woman was adultery. Their recommendation was for Barbara to seek reconciliation with her husband. Hearing this from them, Barbara and I disagreed. With little hesitation we informed the elders that we would be leaving the community. Marking the beginning of a new chapter in our spiritual growth.

We were married on the second of November in 1985. A surprisingly wonderful Manitoba day. Bright sun and no snow anywhere to be seen. Seemed like spring. The service was held in a suburban church. A fine gathering of family and friends as we publicly declared our marriage. Bette Midler's "The Rose" was sung by a friend as we walked the aisle to meet at the centre of attention. Neither of us remembers much of the service. We drove away from the church to have a few moments together. My new father-in-law and his wife prepared a salmon dinner in our home. Supper was shared by our immediate family. Lots of memories shared and hopes expressed. After supper we began to feel the weight of the day. Said our farewells and headed for the Hotel Fort Garry for our wedding night.

We were each quite exhausted when we arrived. Settled into our room gratefully. Nice to be alone and quiet. Something we enjoy to this day. Got out of our clothes and into the bed. Like coming home to the centre of the universe. We looked back over the day. Each recalling conversations and special moments. There was deep intimacy but little erotic energy. She said we had to make love before falling asleep. I wondered why. Might we not be better served by a good night's rest? But, its our wedding night! We have too! Well we tried. The necessary energy simply failed to rise. We surrendered and slipped into our sleep.