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Image result for images of young married couple dancing

You thought today would never come, but it’s here, and you’re ready. Better weather, you couldn’t have asked for. Friends and family are here showing their love and support for the two of you.
And now the happy couple is getting ready to leave the church to embark on a new adventure together.
Confident and a bit nervous, they are ready and willing to tackle whatever life throws at them. And all it will offer in return, knowing in their hearts that it will always be this way. That every hurdle they face will be fought together, even in their golden years. God will lead them, and they will follow and serve Him. Life is good. And so begins “the dance.”

Image result for images of just married car

 

Let me just take a moment to explain “the dance.”

With marriage, you encounter endless emotions along with the good, the bad, and the ugly. By ugly I am speaking of those unwanted, disastrous moments fraught with emotion. Or it could be times when just one of you is holding on to an irreconcilable past, not being able to let go of it, or the deep-rooted pain that slowly unfolds to reveal layers buried deeply within. Or even something worse. But when you work together, letting each other know all of the bad stuff, you are able to walk through all the turmoil, facing it head-on. Then together you conquer the ugly. You are victorious. The dance I’m speaking of here is for after getting through the tough times, and for those moments that could easily lead in another direction, one of separation or divorce. But you both got past it and moved on. This is the important factor. You didn’t take the other road. When you diffuse the bomb, and when you don’t give up on each other, you conquer the bad and the ugly. Then, you celebrate by metaphorically walking together to the middle of the floor. You see the light in each other’s eyes, remembering why you are together. You share a loving embrace, and you dance.

 

 

Your struggles will differ from those of your friends. Although you might share some of the same issues,
no couple’s problems are exactly the same. The dance is a release, a way to let go of all the stress from the bad, and the ugly. After all the mess is dealt with, “the dance” could be a euphoric feeling of letting go that leads to an evening of togetherness, holding hands while taking a walk, or to a night of love-making. The possibilities are endless, and it’s totally up to you. This is “your dance.”

 

 

 

A few years later…Image result for images of young married couple in an argument
As you count your blessings through children, family, friends, good health, and Kodak moments, suddenly, and for some strange reason, the gears shift. You both are left wondering what happened. How did our life change so drastically? And you hold each other close, even as the dance steps are a little shaky now and  afraid, you both plan a hasty retreat. Then you stop, hopefully you pray, finding your way in the dark, taking a few steps back to the floor where your steps are slowly in sync. And you conquer your fear—and you dance.

Image result for image of married couple dancing

 

 

 

 

A few more years down the road…
Again, the tempo changes.

The steps are even slower than before since you may have experienced the loss of a loved one, or something has happened to really shake your foundation. You feel like your bond together is tested. The cord holding the two of you together is twisted, yet strengthened. Twisted, because the two of you are united as one.  Like strands of rope, strong and lasting. Strengthened in love and your commitment to each other. And in time, you laugh as you regain your steps leading you, once again, to the place you began. To the dance.

 

Time stands still…
You have weathered the storms of tragedy and devastation. And along with celebrating life’s little nuances and blessings that fill you with joy—life deals you another blow. This blow doesn’t hit all at once. It creeps slowly, leaving you puzzled about your partner in the dance. A state of confusion overtakes this partner, robbing them of their memories as well as any future time together with you. As soon as you can, you persuade your partner to re-enter the dance floor, and try to recapture the moments together, and the light in your love’s eyes and smile. But the vacancy you find in those eyes only seems to take your breath…
your soul.

And now you know and are certain that this disease, this plague they call Alzheimer’s has claimed and destroyed yet another life… Your life together. As your partner inches away slowly, leaving the dance floor, and leaving you —alone. You yourself are lost. You are left standing there and staring at this person who shared their life with you. And you cringe when you see this lost soul staring back, not having a clue as to who you are now. This same dance partner you gave your heart to so long ago, will lose their way, their life, and their love. They will lose you. This is a heart-rending disease. One that is harder on the ones that have their memories fully intact. The diseased victim doesn’t know you anymore, so they don’t remember ever having a relationship with you of any kind, let alone remember they love you. So the partner left behind will never enter the dance floor again. For you,t he dance is over.

This is so hard, but it does happen , and it leaves you empty inside. I don’t want to end my post like this, so get ready for a happier ending. Okay, are you ready?

 

In your declining years…
Though the dance rarely finishes while both partners reach the end of their lives and their dance together, it does happen. There is nothing sweeter than a final embrace, having their final dance in sync, and flashing their last smile at one another as they prepare to leave this world together, a couple who have weathered the storm, raised their children, suffered loss, and served their God, with joy. This long-lasting relationship they share is now at a close. Before leaving the dance floor, they share a look that says much about their entire married life. Holding hands, they quietly slip away taking their last breaths, remembering “the dance.

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