The Legacy of a Folded Note

Some people make my day.

I look forward to seeing them.

They add a bounce to my step and a smile to my spirit.

        They can also change my life. 

A Wonderful Couple

Working in the health field, I had the privilege of meeting many people.

I always looked forward to seeing this wonderful couple.

They would greet me with a smile and a twinkle in their eyes. 

They appeared to have a very good relationship.

They would banter back and forth, always communicating respectfully with each other.

They would tease each other with the ease of many shared years of history and humour.

They Had Recently Celebrated Their 50th Wedding Anniversary 

I asked the gentleman, “what is the secret to your long term, happy marriage?” 

I thought he would respond with a humorous, witty reply such as “she puts up with me,” or “we have lived long enough.” 

        I did not expect his response. 

He opened his wallet, unfolded a well-worn piece of paper and handed me a note

He Had Written Down Five Words

  • Communication 
  • Autonomy 
  • Respect 
  • Acceptance 
  • Whose Agenda 

I Paused For a Moment

I did not know what to say.

This was not a response laced with wit and humour.

He was serious.

         He was divulging a very personal part of his life. 

His wife had been a busy, stay at home Mother, raising their three sons. 

After their sons had grown and moved away from home, she continued to lead an active life filled with many hobbies and interests.

His career had often taken him away from home. They had established a comfortable life with a consistent routine. 

A New Stage 

A year before he was going to retire, he and his wife went to see a counsellor.

This couple was concerned how his retirement may change the dynamics of their home and ultimately harm their relationship.

They wanted to be prepared for some of the challenges that retirement can bring. 

        The counsellor described five qualities that greatly influence the health of all relationships.

        The five words he had written down on this note.

Every Sunday Night

Sunday night is date night for this couple.

They open a bottle of wine and share an intimate dinner.

They review these five categories and ask, “how did we do this week?”

I thanked him for sharing.

I took these five words home with me. 

The Legacy Of This Folded Note

The conversation with this gentleman took place about ten years ago.

I often think fondly about this couple. 

The last time I saw them they were having increased health challenges.

 The unfortunate part of getting older. 

This Couple Enriched My Life

They inspired me with their thoughtfulness, respect and genuine love for each other.

They shared a very personal part of their relationship.

      They did not take their marriage for granted.

I would like to think they are still having their Sunday date night.

They are reviewing their common values and goals.

Communicating with kindness and love. Always with a twinkle in their eyes. 

This wonderful couple has changed my life.

They left me a legacy.

        I am unfolding this note and sharing with you. 

Do you recall someone from your past who inspired you? Made a positive impact on your life?

Behind the Scenery

Love

I have recently enjoyed reading inspirational and heartwarming books from two writers. They share contemporary, engaging stories about relationships and how love comes in many forms.

“A Home for Her Daughter” written by Jill Weatherholt.

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target. Amazon link

I look forward to reading “A Dream of Family” written by Jill Weatherholt.

Publication date: June 29, 2021 Available for preorder on Amazon

“Escape To Curlew Cottage” written by Joanne Tracey

Publication date:  March 12, 2021 Available for preorder now on Amazon. Australian Store – link will take you to your region

Date Nights

Photos

All photos of lovebirds taken by me in New Zealand, 2017

184 thoughts on “The Legacy of a Folded Note

  1. How sweet, Erica. It’s amazing how much power a few words can have when taken to heart. I love this story of the couple and how intentional they are. My husband and I survive on laughter, but we probably need a few new words as life continues. I may borrow yours/theirs. Have a lovely week, my friend.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Diana, You know first hand the power of words. I can relate to how you and your husband survive on laughter. We laugh many times each day with each other, and at ourselves. The latest thing this week is how my husband and I will say we need to work on #5, (#5 from the list) and then burst out laughing. Thank you for sharing your kind, thoughtful words. Have a wonderful week.❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have fond memories of this couple for many reasons. Likely many ways to communicate successfully in a relationship. I always appreciate learning gems. Thank you for sharing your supportive thoughts, Norah.

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  2. This is such a sweet post. To remember this couple from 10 years ago and write down what keeps them going! I wish we could know how they are doing. But I appreciate you taking the time to write all this down and then show us your date night pics! Lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Kristin, for your lovely, supportive comment. I have fond memories of this couple and they inspired me for many reasons. I put a few of our date night pictures in this post at the last minute. More Lovebirds. 🙂

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    1. As you well know, Amy, relationships take many forms. I believe how one of the messages from this couple, is they never took their relationship for granted. They inspire me even now. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones and you continue to have opportunities to enjoy nature.xx ❤️

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  3. hi Ericka
    (like my spelling combining the two)
    awesome post
    and i will pass this on –
    what an inspiration the note was and also loved the closing photos of your and the hubs’ date nights – the june from 78? whew – beautiful

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yvette, You can call me by any name and I will answer. I sometimes debate on the whole Erica/Erika thing, yet informal poll results say ‘keep the two names’. My husband calls me, “Sweetie.” Easier to remember.🙂 Thank you for your kind, supportive words. This couple really left an impression on me for many reasons. I wrote their story about two years ago and kept it in a folder. I decided to hit “publish” this Valentine’s Day and I could not resist the lovebirds. My husband and I date nights was also a last minute add on. I greatly appreciate your thoughts. You are my blogging guru for a few specific reasons. ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. wow – guru – I am honored more than you know – and you inspire me with your freshness – and I sensed this with your daughter too – neither of you are here for numbers or for ego – you both are in blog world to connect and share your essence with the world (and not to say that those bloggers going for numbers or trying to make money leave out the essence – but it is a different approach – you know?)

        anyhow, that was so nice to read – and I love the two names – it has a culture feel and is part of that vibe we get – and was one of the first things i noticed about you – besides your awesome teeth – hahahah
        seriously – not sure if I told you but when I first saw one of your photos – the teeth seemed to stand out and then I read later what you did and was like – ahahhhh – makes sense – 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. When I think of Yvette, I think Kindness, Generosity, Thoughtfulness, Candour……..You remind me, often people do not know how their words and actions affect another person’s life. Thank you for making my day! ❤️

          Liked by 1 person

  4. The lovebird photos are a delight, Erica. I was a little surprised that the couple went to a counsellor to discuss retirement but it seems to have worked for them and I can’t argue with the list. And now you don’t need to- you have a readymade list 🙂 🙂 Dealing with health issues is more of a challenge and not something I look forward to, but I hope the list still helps.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jo, for your kind and thoughtful words. I was also surprised this couple went to a counsellor, especially after 50 years of marriage. It really hit home how successful, long term relationships never take each other for granted. Sometimes, I know the concepts. Other times, I feel it in my bones. I am aware of some health issues with this couple which I have kept private in this story. Sad, yet a real reminder. My husband and I discuss daily how we are thankful to be in our own homes and still functioning and independent. Jo, you lead such a healthy lifestyle, I foresee many, many healthy years ahead.🙂❤️

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  5. I love the story you shared, Erica! This couple lives a happy marriage to prove these words are effective and sustain their life together. It’s great that you recalled this story and remember their five words to share with us. My husband and I survived on respecting each other’s autonomy. We always remember our first time meeting each other at a mutual friend’s party. He recalled making effort to go as I remember my decision to go. That was a last meeting at this person’s home before taking the summer break. We exchanged phone number and kept in touch in the summer. We always remind each other that we were meant to be together from the beginning. We also learned to accept each other, even when we had deagreement, we would make a point not to be upset with each other by bedtime. We also say ‘I love you’ and kiss each other before going to sleep.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Autonomy has always been a big one in our relationship, too, Miriam. All points are important depending on what is going on at the time. Interesting about you and your husband and “meant to be together…” I love all of your ‘extras’ here. They made me smile and warmed my heart. Thank you for sharing your lovely, thoughtful comment.❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such a thoughtful and reflective post, Erica. That man sounded like a wise man, and he and his wife really wanted to keep their relationship going – and worked on it. When you work on something and work on something together, chances are it will work. Hopefully things turned out okay for them despite the challenges with old age. All relationships change over time, and I think it’s important to learn to pay attention to each other and be there for each other as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I greatly appreciate your very kind comment, especially coming from you, Mabel. You always strike me as a wise woman. You hit a key point “when you work on something and work on something together, chances are it will work.” Similar values, similar goals. ‘Pay attention’ and ‘be there for each other’. Good stuff. ❤️

      Like

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