He answered, “Haven’t you read in your Bible that the Creator originally made man and woman for each other, male and female? And because of this, a man leaves father and mother and is firmly bonded to his wife, becoming one flesh—no longer two bodies but one. Because God created this organic union of the two sexes, no one should desecrate his art by cutting them apart.” Matthew 19:4-6 (The Message)
In 1976, I left sunny, freewheeling Florida to attend college at a prestigious southern university. It was my first and only choice of schools. The gorgeous, pristine campus of stately brick buildings, dancing founatins and spreading live oak trees won me over from my first visit. In fact, I refused to get out of the car at any other colleges on my parents’ carefully planned summer tour. I loved the school from the moment I registered for my first class. Not only its facility, but its professors and its people made it the perfect fit for me. My first roommate could have been my twin. Though red haired and raised in the south with a distinct opinion that white shoes could not be worn after Labor Day, Julie and I had so much in common that even our first cars, purchased before we knew each other, were duplicates. While we both had a bit of homesickness in the first few days, we adapted and thrived at college. The only thing that marred our idyllic lifestyle was the fire alarm. Occasionally, someone pulled the alarm as a prank. Waking from a sound sleep to its horn inflicted utter terror as we struggled to remember the drill and stagger in our pajamas into the night air. I am convinced that the alarm was often pulled just so the boys who lived way over on the other side of the campus and were not allowed into the women’s dorm except during certain hours could see us in our pjs. Who could resist hundreds of scantily clad coeds flooding from the building in the dead of night? Sometimes, officials had trouble resetting the alarm so just as you were allowed back into your warm cozy bed, it went off again. And again. I still to this day, have flashbacks of the fear whenever I hear a fire alarm. Lately, a similar alarm has been filling my heart. It feels like tightness, an undetermined source of anxiety. Something is not right. This morning, I finally figured out its cause. On vacation, husband and I were together 24/7. Even if we weren’t focused on each other, he might be watching TV while I read; we were in the same proximity. And it felt good. Now, back in the real world, we are pulled a hundred different directions. He goes to the gym, works on his computer and fixes things, while I blog, pay bills, sweep up sand and do dishes. I feel like something is missing. And it is. I liked the way things were on vacation and while I know that there will be things to distract us, I am working on a plan to keep those distractions to a minimum. Because, really, we don’t know how much time either of us has on their earth. Unlike the fire drills, I don’t plan on living in fear. But, neither will it hurt to remember that life is short and I best make the most of it.