Gratitude

A long marriage develops over time. In our case, we basically grew into adults together. Dale was barely out of his teens and I celebrated my 20th birthday two weeks into our marriage.

Through the years we have endured much. We have equally loved one another and disliked each other many times. We are still a work in progress 47 and a half years later.

Yesterday we went to see Top Gun, Maverick. We haven’t been to many movies since the lockdown. In fact this was our third movie on the big screen since that time.

When the movie started and familiar music played, I smiled. Memories of the first Top Gun rushed forward in my mind. All through 1985 our paper carried stories of behind the scene exploits. San Diego was the focus in the original. Dale was stationed on the base where it was filmed. I was an ombudsman there and helped to start the Family Service center on that base. There is one scene in the original where Maverick drives his bike the wrong way up the street. Little details that made the movie for us. Plus, being in a Navy town the excitement was high with cheers throughout the show.

Yes, it all came flooding back to me. This time, we strained to see what was just out of the view of the film , hoping to catch more of our old hometown. We knew exactly where many of the scenes took place. We would say where things were in almost every scene. We walked out of the theater smiling and discussing the film. The only thing missing for us was not being in a Navy town. The undercurrent of excitement was not there.

As I sat in the theater, watching and remembering, I looked over at Dale. Gratitude filled me. Because of him, my life has been a full one. I have seen and experienced so much. I am a small town girl. I married a small town boy. Together we grew up into this couple who has witnessed much together.

We can’t take full credit though. The Lord is the One who has gifted us. He knit us together when we were unraveling. He strengthened us when we were weak and faltering. He gave us orders to places we didn’t think we’d like, but He knew exactly what we needed. Yes, gratitude fills my heart.

“Oh give thanks to the Lord for He is good! For His mercies endure forever. ” Psalm 107:1 (NKJV)

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