Friday, June 5, 2015
“To me, my love, you never can be old, For as you were when first your eye I eyed, Such seems your beauty still.” — William Shakespeare
Well we made it to our Golden Anniversary, something I never thought would ever happen, certainly not after moving to the East African bush when we were both sixty plus. Still, we’d do it over it again in a heartbeat, and while we are both too old and in too much pain to swim in the pool, walk around the grounds, or even make it to the restaurant, we are together and that’s what counts. No matter how much pain Karen may be in (lately she threw her back out and is using a cane), I can still make her laugh—which makes her mad because it makes her back hurt, but you know the story of the frog and the scorpion right? The scorpion asks the frog to ferry him across the stream while the scorpion rides on the frog’s back. The frog says no because the scorpion would sting him, and he would die. The scorpion says that if the frog dies then the scorpion would too, as he can’t swim. The frog reluctantly agrees and halfway across the stream the scorpion stings the frog, dooming them both. The frog asks the scorpion why he would do such a stupid thing, to which he replied, “I couldn’t help it. It’s my nature.” So, even though I know it might make her hurt more, I can’t pass a up a great set up. Last night I told her we were just here waiting for God. “And room service,” she replied waiting for her chicken dinner to arrive (it was a hamburger, but this is Africa). Now, if she can make cute remarks like that, she just has to expect more of the same from me. Fifty years ago, we didn’t leave our room for the whole day. You can guess why. Fifty years later we are also not leaving our room, but this time Advil, Tylenol, swollen ankles, bad backs, and a resort that is full of stairs, hills, and no elevators are the reasons. No one has to guess about anything. They call this the Jubilee Anniversary here which in American is for things that last 75 years, but in Tanzania where the majority of the people never live to see their fiftieth birthday, being married for fifty years is a reason for great celebration. We have an incredible view of Lake Victoria and the from our balcony we can see two waterfalls here on the grounds. The staff are lovely as always. The maid brought Karen a rose surrounded by ferns that she did up herself. It is beautiful and very touching. Later, we will order lunch from room service and try not to act surprised at what they bring us since it is never what we ordered. Still, we have air conditioning, a huge bathtub where we can soak (if we have help getting out again) but it is wonderful. We don’t regret coming here for a moment. We held hands for the first time over fifty years ago, and we are still doing it. No matter what else may be wrong with us, life is grand, and we are blessed to have lived so much of it together and will continue to serve God together until the end.