Turtle on a Fencepost: Part 3

What are the things and people that changed you? What experiences shaped your life in a positive way and with a force you can still feel many years later? In this series I am sharing from my life – I would love for you to share yours here too.


In 1967 when I was 17 years old I met my God given help meet, my completer. I met her at a time in my life when I had decided I was destined to be alone, as no woman would be willing to put up with me. Yeah, I know – what a decision to make at 17. Although, but for Martha, I may have been right. We’ll never know. I married her in 1968, and my future was secured.

When I heard Melvin Udall say: “You make me want to be a better man,” in As Good As It Gets, I realized that was what Martha did for me. Not only has she spent the last 43 years creating that desire in me – she has helped & encouraged me every step of the way to be the best me that I can be.

I often feel as though all that I am I owe to her. Now I know that’s not really true. God has given me the potential, and I have developed it myself, but without any doubt at all Martha made me aware of how much more I could be, do, and have.

When I have had times of weakness and struggle she has been my earthly rock. Martha has lifted me when I was down, pushed me when I was stuck, and pulled me when I held myself back. She helped fix me when I got broken on the rocks of life and reminded me of some truths when my head swelled too much. In other words, she completes me, every day.

When I first met Martha she worked for a Travel Agency and has always had the ‘travel bug.’ If you are around her much (as I have been) you learn that the ‘bug’ is highly contagious. She certainly gave it to me. In retrospect, many of the things I love were sparked by our relationship.

Young parents often are forced into tough situations in order to survive in this world. For the first 8 years of my children’s lives I worked the 3 PM to 11 PM shift, six days a week. So I can honestly say that my wife raised my children largely by herself. And she did a fantastic job, as is evidenced by the adults they have become.

Nearly every wonderful memory from my entire life involves us together. I often have said to her that I feel sad for all the people who do not have the kind of relationship we do. I find it impossible to watch a romantic movie without giving thanks for my own personal blessing, my wife.

I know, it sounds positively nauseating, right? Well it isn’t, it’s amazing. And we are not among those people who become “a couple” in thought, speech, etc. Trust me when I say that “we” were never pregnant! But Martha was, twice.

I dreamed of a strong, independent, and intelligent woman as a life partner. Martha is totally all of that. Add in caring, giving, beloved by children and respected by all that get to know her and you can understand why I know I came out way ahead in this deal.

So when you see me, and I have a smile on my face & am whistling a tune – you won’t have to ask why! Blame it on Martha. And if you see me and I am not happy, then you know I just need to get near her soon. Thanks babe, you do it for me.

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This entry was posted in All About The Experience, Common Sense, Relationships and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Turtle on a Fencepost: Part 3

  1. Angela says:

    My honey said to me one time before we were married…..”I just want to make you happy”.
    To which I responded…………You can’t…….and I can’t make you happy……..we can provide an enviornment into which we….you or I….can CHOOSE to be happy.
    I still believe that. Martha provided an environment for you but YOU had to want what she saw for you.
    I truly believe we are all on our own path…….parents, partners, children and friends. To hold the door open is one of the greatest things we can do for another person. When we do that, then we hold their greatness for them until they catch that vision.
    Richard. through his belief in me, gave me the courage to develope talents I would have never known were there. What a gift !! What a love !!
    Just to comment briefly and I don’t remember all of the context but the POST about the cups of coffee…………I would have chosen the cup that appealed to me and it would have been “Pretty” in my view. Maybe I would have hung back and taken a plain one when I was YOUNGER but not now……….:) nope, I think that shows something of ……..shall we say…….self worth ??? Had an interview for a part time retail job here in Az. I was asked to rate myself from 1-10 in my ability to task and customer relations. I said I am a 10 with out a doubt….I got the job and it was later said to me that my confidence was refreshing……..I do task well and customers come in looking for me, bring me recipes they said they would and send me Christmas cards at the store……..I am not bragging………..just so grateful for my partner and all the life experiences I have had on my path and I am not finished :)
    Love you Chris and of course I totally agree…………Martha is in MY heart for ever too.

  2. Joyce says:

    This was great Chris. 43 years together and counting, wow! That’s quite a feat in today’s society. Have a great day. Joyce

  3. C says:

    Thanks Angie for the terrific comment. You are right, of course – only God and ‘our self’ can actually make us happy. But I know another thing too. The Lord has put certain people on this Earth to facilitate that. To give us pause, challenge us, and even aid us in being our very best.

    Martha has been a tremendous force for good in my life, and I give thanks for her each day.

  4. C says:

    Thank you Joyce. We are thrilled with our blessings too. Not to mention the sheer stubbornness that stopped us from giving up so many times!

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