Is the best of life yet to be?

“Grow old along with me; the best is yet to be.” This was a poem that my first wife found when we were just married. I loved the poem and in some sense it embodied what I felt married life should be about. There were many times within our marriage where I thought about this poem. We ended in divorce after 16 years. I was never sure why the marriage ended. We fought, loved, laughed and suffered through ups and downs with money but none of these things ended the marriage. I once added up all my theories on why the marriage ended and I came up with 32 theories. Many years later, I came up with a new theory and decided that all the old theories were bunk. For years we saw each other and I considered my former wife a friend. However, we have since drifted apart and for perhaps the same unfathomable reasons that the marriage failed, the friendship has since faded away.

I am left with the poem and while I still think about it a great deal, it now is more related to my second marriage and the hopes and dreams I have for it. What a wonderful thought that we can share life together with another person and expect that the best of life is still to come. I am facing old age and looking towards the last years of my life. Yet, I can more easily believe the words of this poem today then when I was young. I now realize that relationships are not made in heaven, they are made on earth. Relationships are like flowers and gardens. They must be nurtured and pampered and tended daily with loving care. There will be weeds and dry days and floods and tornados. Rabbits and other critters will intrude on your garden and eat your flowers. A garden is not fixed in stone. Each year requires renewed effort to bring out the best in it. Our relationships are a lot like gardens. If you continue working on your relationships, they will only get better and better. If you think that your garden will take care of itself and never need replanting or watering, you will soon find that your garden is nothing but weeds and stones.

Do you have faith that your relationships with your friends and loved ones can be better or do you just take them for granted? Do you believe that your life would get better and better if you were improving more each day? Do you think your life might also be like a garden? What could you do to improve your relationships or your life today? What challenges could you take today to make your life more interesting or more fun? What parts of your relationships with your loved ones need watering or replanting? What weeds do you need to remove in your relationships?

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