Foreword: This post originated last week, after reading this article in my office cafe for the fiftieth time. At the time, I was in an entirely different frame of mind. It's interesting how things change in such a small time span. Even more interesting is how, this situation, viewed from two perspectives, moved me to tears each time. I'm hesitant to post it, because it can seem accusing, which is not my intent, but I feel as though posting it will be therapeutic.
Recently, I've been considering the state of romantic relationships, and why they fall apart so quickly. I've come to the conclusion that we don't really have the stomach for adversity.
Earlier this year, Jim and Nell Hamm, just shy of their 50th wedding anniversary, were hiking in the mountains. Suddenly, a mountain lion pounced on Jim and would not let go. If ever there was an instance where someone could have broke out and run, it would be this. Nell Hamm, however, is from an entirely different school of thought. She grabbed the nearest log and started beating the animal. When that didn't work, she tried to jab it's eyes out with an ink pen. Can you imagine? Living without her spouse seemed a more daunting task than attacking a mountain lion with a Uniball. "We fought harder than we ever have to save his life, and we fought together," she said.
I've sat down and given much thought to what this means, and I've tried to sort out whether this should be viewed as an aspiration or an anomaly. All I've managed to come up with is this: beautiful though this may be, it's not something that we are owed. And if this is the road not chosen, that doesn't make us bad, or weak, or wrong. I think it just means that when we pick our battles, we can do without the mountain lion.