Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mr. J

Today is my husband’s birthday. We married when he was 23 years old and have now been together 42 years. It’s been a long journey and not always easy. We are about as different as two people can be making compromise an important element in our lives. On top of that there have been the trials and adversity that every couple faces. We suffered through being drafted into the army and the subsequent years of military service (1969-71). We had two daughters at the time and were making $400 a month. We still don’t know how we made it through those years except for the fact we always paid our tithing first. In 1989 Mr. J. almost died of a bleeding ulcer. That happened Christmas Eve—a Christmas I’ll never forget. In 1983 I almost died of septic shock. That happened during the birth of our ninth daughter, and the bacteria that was causing the problem in me killed her—so we lost a child and grieved together.

In short, over the 42 years we’ve cried together, laughed together, argued together, grown up together, stressed together, played together, prayed together, and somehow managed to raise our other nine children. Now we’ve come to the point where we’ve aged together and the most important part is that each year has gotten better and better. There’s more laughing and less arguing now. There’s more understanding and less selfishness. And there’s lots more love.

Mr. J. took amazing care of me last year when I had brain surgery—an amazing feat for a youngest child who was spoiled by his mother and for many years expected the same from me. I was the oldest child and had never been pampered or spoiled—until last year. I don’t know how he suddenly learned it, but he anticipated my needs before I needed. He gently helped me move around and was constantly worried about my comfort. He looked at me with such devotion in his eyes you would have thought I was a beauty queen and yet I was bald and had ugly staples in my head. He was amazing!

The hardest part of this birthday has been trying to find him a gift. Everything seems so trivial. What can I possibly give him that could express how I feel? Even the words Happy Birthday sound hollow. But they are all I have, so Happy Birthday, Mr. J. I love you.

9 comments:

Wendi said...

Wow! You guys have really been through a lot together. It's nice to hear how you've learned and have grown through it all. :) Happy Birthday to your husband!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to Carl! I hope you two spend today doing something you really love to do. xoxoxo
Cathie

papa and cilla said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful message.

5L's said...

beautiful! thanks for sharing...it brought tears to my eyes! i wish there were more couples that could say they have stuck it out through so much. many more happy years to you both! :)

MR J said...

Thank you for the best possible birthday present—your and God’s love is the most precious of all gifts. My understanding of God’s love comes about because of your example, courage, knowledge and divine love. Thank you! I love you.

Talena said...

What a nice tribute!

Cathy said...

Happy Birthday Bro Johnson! Sherry your words are beautiful and touching as always.

dani said...

I come from divorced parents. I have now been through a divorce myself. I thank both of you for being the example that you both are. Now, I would like to read a book full of such examples of 'real life' marriages where the people still love each other and are still together. And would anyone else find such a book readable, useful? Maybe I would compile it just for me?

GRANDMA MUFFIN said...

Beautiful tribute, beautiful turths. He must be wonderfull . . . because he won you.