“Eat Cake”

I spent a lot of time in airports this past weekend, and as I tend to do, picked up a book to read.  On previous trips, I’ve usually grabbed humorous books about single women prancing around the city (think: Shopaholic-type books).  I almost did that again, but then took a second look at this book called “Eat Cake.”  It’s about a middle-aged married woman, who has one kid in college and one in high school, and her struggles with a life that’s ever-changing.  I so much enjoyed reading the book, and found great wisdom in it. 

The particular dramas that beset Ruth (her elderly mother can no longer live alone and comes to live with her; her father, and mother’s ex-husband, is in a terrible accident and has to either come and stay or go into a cheap nursing home; her husband loses his job) are not what make the book so interesting.  Rather, it’s the way she copes with life.  The novel makes it so clear that when husband and wife are each wrapped up in their own troubles, sometimes they can stop communicating, and that can mean the end of their marriage.  This is one of my biggest fears about being marriage.  In Ruth’s story, there is a life-altering moment where she realizes the following:

“Everything changes.  Sometimes when your life has been going along the same way for a long time you can forget that.  You think that every day is going to be the same, that everyone will come home for dinner, that we will be safe, that life will roll along.  Sometimes the changes are the kind you can’t do anything about: Someone gets sick, someone dies, and you look back on the past and think, Those were the days of my happy life.  But other times things change and all you have to do is find a way to change with them.  It’s when you stay in exactly the same spot when everything around you is moving that you really get into trouble.  You still have a chance if you’re willing to run fast enough, if you’re willing to forget everything that you were absolutely positive was true and learn to see the world in a different way.  So I was not the kind of person who would start a business or fly halfway across the country to declare my love for the man I had been in love with since I was twenty-five.  I did not rent cars and find my way alone to seaside towns, but now I did, because I was someone else, because the circumstances changed and I decided to follow my father’s advice and try to change with them.”

I hope that when my day comes to forget all I “knew” was true, I will have the courage to face life head-on, and to love my husband and family in the only way that brings ever-lasting love: to change with the circumstances.  I hope that I will be able to do whatever it is that needs doing to keep our relationship fabulous, rather than getting bogged down in the dramas and worries of everyday life.  I hope I am worthy to be MrH’s wife.

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