Do it Now!

Don“… but the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:13

“Is there a chance for a relationship between us down the road?” The tall, handsome widower placed a hand on my shoulder. His vibrant blue eyes searched mine as he spoke. I was momentarily taken aback.

My first marriage ended with the early death of my husband. Delighted as I was to share Jerry’s life, my inner drive often found me focused on work more than on quality time with him.

After Jerry was diagnosed with a terminal illness, I made some changes. I worried less about having a clean house. I delegated more work and sat on the couch, holding his hand rather than responding to work-related emails at night. I wanted my man to know how much I respected and loved him.

After Jerry passed away in my arms, God spoke to me through Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans for good and not for evil, to give you hope and a future.” As I struggled to redefine myself as a newly single woman, I mentally kept that promise before me.

Two years later, I met Don. Eventually, we developed that relationship he had asked about. Four years after Jerry’s passing, Don and I married. God was giving me a second chance, a ‘do-over’. Would I live out the lessons I learned through Jerry’s illness and death, or wait for another loss to reset my priorities?

Each morning is a new opportunity to choose to love. Knowing how hard Don works, will I take the dogs for their morning walk so he can sleep in, or will I roll over and wait for him to get up? Will I sit on the couch responding to Facebook in the evening, or put down my laptop and cuddle with my hubby while we watch football, or Downton Abbey, together?

Will I take a moment to relax into the goose bumps I feel when Don sneaks up behind me and plants sweet kisses on my neck, letting him know his touch is welcome? Or will I pull away from my man’s caress to finish whatever important chore I’m in the midst of doing?

Will I consistently look for ways to affirm my husband, letting him know how much I appreciate all he does for me and for others? And will I speak the truth in love when I suggest an idea or even a change?

No matter what you’ve done for yourself or for humanity, if you can’t look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?” (Lee Iacocca)

God has gifted us with this precious time together. I want to live in such a way that, as much as possible, I will have no regrets. I will look into Don’s cerulean blue eyes often and long.

What will you choose to do to affirm and express love to your partner? What would you regret not doing if he or she were suddenly gone? If possible, do it now! 

11 Responses

  1. website says:

    There are some very controversial topics here making me want to learn more of what you have to say. Very interesting.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I love the quote from Lee Iacocca. It reminds of another (not sure who to credit). It is along the lines of “if you haven’t raised your children right, not much else you do in life really matters”. Remembering to spend quality time with your family and surround those most important to you with love and attention is paramount to a successful and happy life. Thank you reminding us of that.

    • carolnl says:

      Yes, Jennifer … and you and Rod are doing such a great job raising your sons! Thanks for your comment.

  3. Esther Loux says:

    Hi Carol,

    Having lived though your journey with Jerry, I remember how devoted and loving you were. There was nothing you wouldn’t do for him. You set the course for me as I remembered how lovingly you cared for Jerry. As I have told you before, you were my example on how to help your marriage finish well.

    I can also see the loving way you are with Don and I can see that after God, he is number one in your life. If I ever get the chance at a second love, I will remember what a beautiful example you are of giving love selflessly. Up until now, I could not even think of being able to love another, since Phil was my first and only love. However, if God chooses to send someone into my life, I believe I will be able to love better for having gone through my last year with Phil and all that God has taught me about living selflessly these last almost 7 years.

    Thank you, Carol, for sharing your journey. It is such an encouragement to me. I always enjoy your posts on fb and now your blogs.

    Blessings to you and your sweet husband,

    Esther

    • carolnl says:

      Thank you, Esther. You are a treasure and I admired the way you responded in faith when Phil left you – for a season. We will be reunited in glory. I so appreciate your comments, and the way you are graciously moving forward into whatever God has for your life, now and in the future.

  4. Katie says:

    Lovely Carol, what a wonderful look at God’s mercy and love for you. Keep writing!

  5. JoAnn Hiebert says:

    That is what we have been practicing, also. Everyday is a good day to be together, also allowing each of us our different activities. Every morning that we wake up is a good day.

    • carolnl says:

      Thanks for your comment, JoAnn. I see that in you and Ray and appreciate your love for each other. Love you both.

  6. Connie Gibson says:

    Thank you for sharing your life and thoughts with all of us. I knew Jerry and I feel your loss from his death, however, Father did have a great plan for you and Don is it.. I’m thrilled for you… for both of you!! Connie

    • carolnl says:

      Connie, thank you. You were special to Jerry too! And yes, our Father had a wonderful plan for which I am deeply grateful.