As I unravel my thoughts, here in the coldness of a winter’s eve, I wonder what our retirement years might look like for my wife and I… knowing our marriage is a gift to each other.
“The Frost King has come and with a flick of his thumb, turned the windows to Renaissance art / As we sit round the fire with no need to enquire, about the ways of the soul and the heart”
Renaissance by Valdy
Maybe, retirement means extensive travel like many of our friends who routinely visit various parts of the world. I can still hear my father-in-law telling us, “Travel now while you can, before poor health means you can’t.”
I just know – whatever life’s itinerary – I’d be lost without her.
“Years past us by like a soft whispered sigh, not noticing youth as it flew / It’s easy to tell that you wear your age well, not trying to prove you’re still you”
And longevity? – although we get used to waking up every day, it’s not a certainty.
What time we have left could be measured in years… or just seconds. A young father – working and raising a family – I could afford the luxury of fooling myself that I had all the time in the world.
Now, with maturity and age, I can’t pretend I didn’t waste some of that valuable time – fearing today, with no faith in tomorrow.
“Somehow it seems, some of our dreams got discarded somewhere on the road / When all that was true, could be found in the blue of your eyes that still sparkle and glow”
Our priority for the two of us is to find more time to deepen our relationship without losing our personal interests.
For example, I often get involved with protracted projects of which she’s generally supportive; but, as a responsible, caring partner, will see things I sometimes don’t bargain for (like subjecting myself to harmful, unnecessary stress) – and she’s usually right!
She’s mindful of my needs; I’m blind to hers. So now with our time seeming ever-so-valuable, I find I’m making up for lost opportunities.
Bob Dylan said, “If you don’t know where you’re going any road will take you there.”
We’re starting off modestly by listing all the things we like doing together: bike rides, walks, visiting interesting coffee shops and restaurants with friends, movies, yoga, camping, canoeing… talking and listening to each other means everything’s possible.
“I’ve looked around enough to know
That you’re the one I want to go
Through time with”
Time in a Bottle by Jim Croce
I feel like the literary figure, Rip Van Winkle – waking up after years of being asleep. Coming to my senses, like never before, I realize, the past is ancient history. And yet the light in her “kaleidoscope” eyes is guiding me home.
The Doobie Brothers ask in Long Train Runnin’, “Without love, where would you be now”?
I believe the correct answer is: nowhere.
However, some say love is blind; but fortunately for me, even a blind man knows – can be downright clairvoyant – when he’s walking in the sun.
Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His newspaper column, Music in Me, can be found in ‘The New Hamburg Independent’ Metroland Media. His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is Available from Amazon and Indigo / Chapters.
Blog / Website: www.fredparry.ca