Yesterday Netter and I joined some friends to help them celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary. It was quite an occasion with many friends and relatives joining in, poems and songs, stories and even a prayer or two. If I’m lucky, we will get to celebrate 50 years one day too. (Netter and I have been married for 20 years last June.)

Now when I say some friends I should mention that these were really Netter’s friends which is why I’m telling this story. Netter grew up with these folks and their kids. The fact is I had only met one or two members of the family and then only in passing.

On the way home Netter and I had this conversation.

Netter: Thank you for coming today.

Me: Why are you thanking me? Why wouldn’t I have come?
Netter: Well, I know you didn’t know these folks. You said you have a lot you wanted to do today while you were off. I just want to thank you for taking the time.
Me: Honey, something that is being lost, well really within our generation is “doing the right thing.” Yes, I don’t know these folks. Yes, I have a lot I’d like to work on, but here’s the thing... This was important to you. I could tell how excited you were to see these folks and help them celebrate. I could tell how much they mean to you by listening to you tell stories from your childhood and beyond. I could even tell how important it was to you that I dress up a little bit, but thanks for letting me wear shorts. Anyway, if it’s that important to you, then it’s that important to me. It’s just the right thing to do.

Now, I’m not patting myself on the back for all this. I didn’t really do this on purpose so to speak. The truth is I don’t know what I would have done if Netter had said ahead of time that I could stay home. I do have a lot to do. I’ve got a list a mile long and a goal I’d like to reach for managing my time better. I’m quickly losing patience with myself at that goal gets delayed.

But that didn’t matter yesterday.

I think I did the right thing. I wish more folks would do the right thing more often. I fear that’s getting lost and I’m not sure we will get it back.

What do  you think?


Juice in LA said...

first, I agree- its easy not to do the right thing when given an "out".

That said, I think that its wonderful of your wife to thank you, but that, even if she told you you didn't have to go, you should have made the time.

finally, I think you already know this and don't need my two sense!

Jim Brochowski said...

Thanks Juice.

I'm fairly certain I would have gone no matter what, but I included that just to add to my point.

You're right. It was wonderful and I was glad Netter said Thank you. That meant a lot to me.

For the record - yours is a valued opinion and always welcomed. :-)

typealibrarian said...

My husband and I just had a conversation about this yesterday, because we were anticipating that somebody was about to invite themselves over to dinner. We were hoping for a quiet meal, and that would have been interrupted for certain. Truth is...that person really needed some people around them right that moment. Would it have been inconvenient? Yes. Would it have been difficult? Maybe. Would it have been my first response to say come on over? Probably not. Here's the thing. When you look at these things through the world's eyes, you only see yourself in the equation. What impact does this have on me, right? I said to my husband, "We have to change our focus and look at this through God's eyes." Honestly, sometimes "doing the right" thing is just looking at it from a different perspective. I'm not going to go all "WWJD?" on you. I just know for me...when I stop to really think about which thing I chose to do will have the bigger impact in the long run, it is almost always the thing that may be an inconvenience or bother for me in the temporary. P.S.-I think it is cool that your wife said thank you. The fact that she noticed makes her and the fact that you went even more special in my book.

WineLover said...

Doing the right thing is great - but also, you got to spend some quality time with your wonderful wife and get inspiration from these great people that have made a marriage work for 50 years! Everybody wins :)

Kathy Hennessy said...

I'm pretty sure I'm naive about this, but I think most of the people who I think are special (give yourself a gold star there) would give up their personal wants to do something for their spouse...or kids...or parents. It's just part of being a good, loving person.