41 is an important number. A significant number in many ways. It is the number that follows 40 and precedes 42. It’s a prime number, which means almost nothing to those of us with a “no math mind.” There is a US Highway 41 that goes from the very southern peninsula of Miami, to the very northern U.S. peninsula, the upper peninsula of Michigan. Amazing!
For those of us old enough to remember the tear-jerking, full box of tissues movie, “Brian’s Song,” Brian Piccolo’s retired jersey is number 41. Side note ~ I actually remember where I was sitting in my living room and holding and using an entire big box of tissues. I also cried for about an hour after it was over. It was that bad. Moving on, in 1941 three very significant things happened, the Japanese bombed Pear Harbor, we officially entered WWII, and my mother was born, thus securing my place in the world…kind of.
This past Tuesday, my husband and I celebrated our own 41. We have been married for 41 years. I was 19 when we married, one month before my 20th birthday, and I am 60 now, I have been married for fully two-thirds of my life. That’s a long time, like an “I really am an old lady” long time, which is even harder to comprehend when I feel like I’m still about 41 years old. Of course, the mirror says otherwise, but still the feeling is there. It’s not true, but it’s there.
You’ve heard the age old saying opposites attract. Can I tell you it could not be more true? In fact, when I think about it, there’s not much that Cliff and I have in common. For example, Cliff likes sports, he likes playing them and watching them. When we lived in NJ, Cliff was the pitcher in our church’s softball league. They played on Monday nights. For the guys, it was a competition, a time of camaraderie, an athletic event. For me, it was a wonderful social outing! A time to visit with the wives, chat, and slather ourselves and our children in what we felt was a “natural” mosquito repellent, otherwise known as Skin So Soft by Avon. I have no idea why or how, but it worked and though I wasn’t overly fond of the smell, we definitely smelled better than the men.
Cliff enjoys old movies, I do not. But, I do like to crochet and will sit beside him with my hook and yarn while he gives me a rundown on different actors and the trivia he knows about them. It’s interesting…sometimes. Lately, we have found a common interest in British television programs. I don’t know why. We have to have the subtitles on to understand what they’re saying since we are “separated by a common language,” but the series’ that we’ve watched so far have piqued both of our interests and we’ve really enjoyed them!
Cliff enjoys things to be “orderly,” his drawers, his closet, his shoes…a place for all things and all things in their place. I tend towards “creative chaos.” My drawers are separated into shirts, pants, shorts and underthings, but they are not even close to orderly. They are shut most of the time, so that’s good! I tried to organize my closet once. That lasted a day. I realized I missed my closet disarray because sometimes I find something I forgot I had and it’s like getting a new and unexpected gift! Who wouldn’t love that?
My husband is a food camel. He can go for long periods of time without eating and think nothing of it. I am a foodie. I eat every few hours and think I will meet some horrible end if I don’t. If we plan a trip to Disney, something we both enjoy, it is inevitable that I will ask him where and when we will eat and whether or not we’ll get a Starbucks Refresher. If plans change as far as where we will eat, I can deal with that. I can even be mature about it, as long as I know we will be eating. Besides, I usually have my pockets stuffed with snacks like a chipmunk, so I can make it through until our meal. However, if he tells me we will be getting a Starbucks Refresher when we get into the park and then realizes that a very popular ride has almost no line and decides that we should get in line instead of getting our Refresher. Well, let’s just say that can and did, yesterday, push me to a mild meltdown. I did enjoy the ride and saw the wisdom of his decision when we came off the ride and saw a 105 minute wait. We only waited for 20 minutes and we did get a Refresher immediately afterwards.
For all of our differences, and obviously they are many; there is one thing Cliff and I have in common, our faith. Our common love for Jesus has held us together through some of the toughest moments of our lives. He is our third cord, that causes us to not be easily broken. Who loves us unconditionally and teaches us to do the same. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.
41 years…It’s a pretty big deal!
“…a threefold cord is not easily broken.” ~ Ecclesiastes 4:12