I’ll be blogging about marriage-related stuff every day leading up to Valentine’s Day this year. Please stop by and share your own thoughts. Hope you enjoy it!
“Remember that time in the spa on the cruise ship in Norway…?”
It’s a phrase my husband and I say to one another from time to time*, usually prompted by a misty morning or a moment of peace together… moments that evoke that amazing sense of peace and awe we felt back then, a year into our marriage.
It was about mid-morning, and our cruise ship was due to dock into the port for that day within the hour.
But we were a carefree childless couple, so after a sleep-in and a breakfast so late you should really call it brunch, we decided we felt like a dip in the heated spa at the back of the ship.
Technically, it was summer.
But when we stepped onto the outer deck area, there was no sun to be seen and a fine, misty rain fell gently on our skin.
As we walked our way down to the back of the ship, we could see that there were plenty of people out with their rain coats and their cameras – hanging over the rails trying to get a perfect shot of the unfolding scene.
Thankfully for us, the misty-rain seemed to have put everyone else off the spa, which sat out in the open.
So there we sat in the spa together on the back of the cruise ship, the warm water surrounding our bodies and the cold rain lightly falling on our shoulders and heads.
People continued milling around the deck, but we might as well have been completely alone as we sat in awe, absorbed by the beauty of the clouds draped low around the steep hills of the fjord.
My husband wrapped his arm around me and said, “We’re going to remember this moment for the rest of our lives.”
And he was right.
I do often think back on that moment. It’s a source of joy and delight, often at times when those things are lacking.
We have other “go to” memories too… memories that only require a one-sentence prompt for us both to be thinking the exact same thing.
Our first date at the botanical gardens… That time we drove through the flood waters… When we climbed on the roof in a lighting storm…
I was thinking about the value of having these precious memories together, especially through the hard times of marriage.
I mean, having babies and small children gives you a whole other set of memories. But it doesn’t feel like it at the time… it just feels hard.
And sometimes when I was in the midst of dirty nappies and recalcitrant toddlers and never-ending mess I would think back to these amazing memories we made together and wonder if there would be any more to come, or if our days of fun and spontaneity were long gone.
Sometimes in the middle of the night, when I sat there breastfeeding a tiny baby, eyes hanging out of my head with exhaustion, I would look over at my peacefully sleeping husband (with a little bit of envy over the fact that he was sleeping) and think over all the wonderful things we did together. Then I would let out a little sigh of nostalgia, and tell myself that we would be a fun couple again one day, and determine that I would – for my part – make the effort to have the kind of marriage we’d both be able to enjoy long after the kids were grown up and out of home.
Shared history is important because it makes us desire and work towards a shared future.
This is the value of making memories together (in the fun times and the hard times). It’s part of the glue that holds us together.
The challenge is to keep making memories.
Don’t let the struggle of life steal your sense of wonder at the world and at each other.
Climb the hills.
Watch the birds.
Take in the sunsets.
Laugh at the stupid jokes.
And do it all together.
*While I was writing this post, I called out to my husband, “Hey babe, I’m writing a blog post about the importance of shared memories in marriage. Can you guess which memory I’m thinking of?” The Norwegian cruise memory was his second guess! Just goes to show how important this memory is to both of us.