Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The World's Worst Lover... Smiles!

There's an old joke that goes something like: an old married couple is lying in bed when the woman reaches over and whacks the man on the shoulder. "What's that for?" he cries. "For being a lousy lover," she says and rolls over. He thinks awhile and whacks her on the shoulder. "What's that for?" she cries. "That's for knowing the difference!" he says.

You've heard me mention Kami and seen a photo of her with Duncan in the last post. Today is our 28th anniversary. Twenty eight years ago I had sold almost everything I owned including furniture and books so that I could buy her an engagement and wedding ring from a discount jeweler. It was -- and is -- a tiny ring but it represented all I owned, all I dreamed, and all I hoped for. She said "yes" and so we were married at the Bear Valley Church of Christ in Denver, Colorado. That night we hit the road for the eastern edge of the country. We were going to work with an African-American congregation in Edenton, NC, helping them to build a building and get started.

So, on that late June day, we piled my Renault LeCar full. It had no air conditioning so we opened the vinyl, fold-back roof and headed across the country. This was back during Jimmy Carter's 55MPH mandate. Think about that for a moment: 55mph across Kansas. Then Missouri. Etc. It took us a week. With just a tiny radio, there wasn't much to do but talk to each other. Twenty eight years later, we still talk to each other, and we still enjoy traveling with each other.

I might be the world's lousiest lover. Or she might be. But since we are the only lovers we will ever have we are very happy with each other. In a world where dates are sexual tryouts complete with angst, fear, and looming failure we are freaks. We know that. We're okay with it. I won't run into an old lover in the grocery store nor will she run into a guy she used to live with. We are exclusive. Our secrets are safe with each other. So, while we may be great or lousy in the lover department, we are smiling because we only know each other -- and we love each other.

The world looks upon sexual exclusivity as if it were some sort of punishment. It seems, to them, as if God is holding out on them when He declares one man, one woman for life. But think of it this way: barring some bizarre blood transfusion mixup, we don't have to worry about AIDS. We won't get it. We don't worry about other STD's, either. While we give money and time to organizations that help fight those modern day plagues we know that we are safe in our happy home because we belong to each other, always have and always will.

Are we bragging? NO! This is all the gift of God. I was given an incredible gift by finding the right person to marry. When I first saw her it was like all my birthdays came at once. I didn't know how to date a Colorado girl so I took a shot and we rode horses. And rode them and rode them until I was completely out of quarters! She didn't spray me with Mace and run away so I knew she was the one.

We love each other. We don't fight (really!). We consider each other gifts from God and act accordingly. All of that is because of God's teaching, God's wisdom, and God's direction given to us by many, many faithful people in the church. None of it is because of us. All of it is because of Him.

Thank you, God, for life with Kami. Our life may be lousy, but we are so ignorant we think we're wonderfully happy and content. If that's what they mean by "ignorance is bliss" just let me say I wouldn't trade my bliss for anyone else's experience and knowledge. I still carry her high school senior photo in my wallet, because that is still the way she looks to me! God's way works just fine when both husband and wife try it.

And for those who's marriages or lives fell apart: I am not trying to rub it in. Without some very hard work on God's part I would be where you are. He knew I wasn't strong enough to survive what you have gone through, so He gave me Kami. These few words are a tribute to Him. And to her.


  • At 6/28/2006 08:10:00 AM , Anonymous Mark Frost said...

    A few years ago, I was directing a week of teen camp. We'd had a string of speakers who told about how Jesus rescued them from lives of drugs, alcohol, crime, and wanton sex.

    When it was my turn to speak, I told the campers that I had no such dramatic testimony. I said, "I had sex for the first time on my wedding night, and at age 50, I've had a lifetime total of one sexual partner." The kids broke into applause and cheers. In a world where promiscuity is the norm, the quaint idea of sexual exclusivity still has amazing appeal.

  • At 6/28/2006 08:54:00 AM , Blogger Kara Graves said...

    Happy Anniversary Daddy!

  • At 6/28/2006 09:57:00 AM , Blogger Heather Smith said...

    Beautiful! My parents just celebrated 34 years together on June 10. Their story is a lot like yours. My dad is the only guy my mom ever even dated, and my mom is the only girl my dad ever took on more than 2 or 3 dates. They were put together by God, and they have set a high standard for what I am looking for in a spouse! Congrats on 28 years!

  • At 6/28/2006 10:29:00 AM , Blogger That Girl said...

    Contgratulations to you both!

    My parents have been married 44 years and appear to really like each other!

  • At 6/28/2006 10:45:00 AM , Blogger David U said...

    Patrick, you are a blessed man! Congrats to you and Kami. My lovely bride and I celebrate our 29th this coming Sept. Sometimes I am surprised we made it 29 days!

    Again, CONGRATS!

    God is good,

  • At 6/28/2006 11:25:00 AM , Blogger Lee Hodges said...

    Happy Anniversary my friend!

  • At 6/29/2006 12:48:00 PM , Blogger Dee O'Neil Andrews said...

    Happy belated anniversary wishes, Patrick & Kami. I hope you two will have been long years ahead in each other's company and good graces.

  • At 6/29/2006 05:01:00 PM , Blogger CrazyJo said...

    Happy Anniversary! I pray you two have many more together. :)

  • At 6/29/2006 07:35:00 PM , Anonymous amy kitching said...

    Dear Patrick: Everything is as you said at York....the photo of your wife in your wallet and your son going into the Marines. Also your beautiful daughter....I sat many times listening to your talks at York with tears in my eyes as I about fell out of the pew with laughter....We almost didn't go because my son found it difficult to travel...we were the ones with the full leg cast (orange) and the crutches and wheel chair. Against my better judgement as mom and doctor I knew my kids NEEDED to go to Soulquest. Thank God we did. I don't know who was more blessed, my kids or me. My daughter was very impressed that you would take a photo with her...she was the one who won Survivor....and they both loved your accent. My son thought you were too cool with the Napolean Dynomite impression and the word "trousers" brought visions of Wallace and Grommet.....You have inspired a generation of kids and also touched the life of this adult. How can we ever thank you?


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