“Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years.” ~Simone Signoret
From Wikipedia: Simone Signoret (French: [simɔn siɲɔʁɛ]; 25 March 1921 – 30 September 1985) was a French cinema actress often hailed as one of France’s greatest film stars. She became the first French person to win an Academy Award, for her role in Room at the Top (1959).
Sadly, she died of pancreatic cancer.
Today is my 16th wedding anniversary! There are no “chains” here! Indeed, tiny threads were being woven between us before the day we met. It was the Saturday before the Superbowl, 2000. We felt the tug of a few of those tiny threads on that first day.
My brother, Wes, introduced me to Jim. They had worked together surveying, a few years prior to our introduction. Jim the survey chief, Wes the young chainman learning the trade.
Three months after I bought my first house, Wes invited me to go with him and his then girlfriend Valerie, to a BBQ party at Jim’s house a mile down the road. At the time, I only knew one other resident in my new gated neighborhood.
I wasn’t looking for a third husband, but I was dating at the time. My secret thought was that if my toilet plugged up, at least I’d know one guy in the neighborhood I could call for help. My dad and Wes were both too far away if a toilet “situation” came up.
Wes knew Jim well enough to think he was a good guy so I went with him to the party the day before Superbowl. It was a small party, maybe twelve people were there, mostly Jim’s coworkers, and one of his younger brothers. There was an abundance of laughter, classic rock, poker, and a ping-pong game going in the garage. I can still see my smiling brother sitting in an overstuffed chair with Valerie snuggled up on his lap.
My introvert-self was nervous meeting new people, so I drank two beers over four hours. I am still a lightweight, but no longer a cheap date.
For the party, Jim had BBQ’d a turkey (a tasty new experience for me!) and made macaroni salad. That was a new experience too, a guy making macaroni salad!? Who was this guy? He certainly wasn’t anything like previous guys… dates or husbands.
Jim and I have been inseparable since that day. Even when tensions arise we are tightly bound. Threads make of silk.
The threads woven through our lives are powerful, and many unseen except in my mind’s eye. I can still see Wes two years later. He and Lela, his future bride, sitting on the edge of the bed in the suite adjoining ours in the mega-hotel/casino where Jim and I were married in early 2002. It was after the wedding as a small group of family and friends toasted us with champagne. Wes was relaxed and smiling over my union with his friend. No one at our wedding celebration had any clue Wes’s death sentence would be read four months later, nearly to the day.
“Your son’s lymph nodes are full of malignant melanoma. Get him to an oncologist quickly.”
Wes was thirty.
The next day, a sunny Friday in springtime, my gynecologist read my infertility sentence. It was emotionally distressing to hear that I had endometriosis, fibroids, uterine polyps, and ovarian dysfunction but, now we had some explanation for our failed attempts at pregnancy. Despite the bad news, it not as devastating as what I had learned the day before. I was already in the throes of grief because I knew my brother would die too young, and too soon.
Wes died 13 weeks later – August 16th, 2002
Two tiny threads were woven two years after the infertility diagnoses. I became pregnant with twins on Mother’s Day, May 9th, 2004, two years to the day from the day Wes was told he had Malignant Melanoma. Yes, I do know the exact date. The infertility roller coaster ride tends to bring awareness to every nuance of the cycle. It had been a total of four years of trying to get pregnant. Not even a lifetime for some but for us it had felt like an eternity. That day our fertility doctor transferred four 3-day embryos to my uterus.
Somewhere I read that twins are a gift sent by the dead. When I consider the fact that the odds of pregnancy were not on our side, I imagine Wes helping us out. He knew something of how badly Jim and I wanted a baby.
The threads of our marriage are woven tightly together, forever. I see them in my children every day. And in my mind’s eye.
In case you are wondering, it turned out that I am the plumber in the house.
The featured quote is specifically about “marriage,” but in my opinion, replacing “marriage” with “commitment,” “civil union,” or whatever words describe your relationship, would be more appropriate.
*Quotes of Wisdom – a Friday at 9am (Pacific Time Zone) series offering Wisdom, Feel Good, Inspirational and Thought-provoking Quotes. Sometimes with links and most likely, with too many thoughts of my own included.
As always, thank you for visiting! Feel free to like, comment, share, follow my journey or re-blog as your heart and mind desire. Namaste