Live water heals memories . . .
Greetings from the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells, home of much live water. We just returned from the water park where my son dragged me up and down many water slides. I floated down the lazy river with my daughter. I sat in the outdoor hot tub with my wife. Like I said, lots of live water. Not sure it's the kind that Dillard is talking about, but it made me feel alive.
Since my daughter has been nine or ten, my family has been coming here every year for this dance convention. It just so happens that today is also my wedding anniversary. Twenty-one years. Our marriage has had its ups and downs. Huge ups and huge downs. But, through a lot of grace, we have endured. I'm talking a LOT of grace.
I've been dealing with memories today. As I was sitting with my daughter in the hot tub this evening, she asked me how long my wife and I have been married. When I told her, she laughed and said, "Wow, you are really old." For a year of our marriage, my wife and I were separated. It had to do with my wife's bipolar and struggle with sexual addiction. During that separation, my daughter, who was in kindergarten, was my lifesaver. Some nights, she was the only thing that kept me tethered to the world.
There were a lot of people (friends and family) who didn't understand why I reconciled with my wife. People who thought I should simply walk away from our marriage. Cut my losses, so to speak. But I didn't. I couldn't. For my daughter, myself, my wife, I chose love and forgiveness instead.
And here I am. Twenty-one years after my wife and I exchanged vows. With a beautiful, talented fifteen-year-old daughter and smart, funny eight-year-old son. Surrounded by live water and love. As the new Nobel literature laureate Bob Dylan once said, "Behind every beautiful thing, there is some kind of pain."
Saint Marty will take the pain, because the beauty is worth it.