Love Will Keep Us Together???

anniverary post

“Love will keep us together.” – hit song by The Captain and Tennille

Thirty-nine years. And it is over.

My heart is breaking for Captain and Tennille, (Daryl  Dragon and Toni Tennille) who are divorcing after nearly four decades of marriage.

Anytime I hear of a divorce, my heart breaks a little, whether I know the couple or not. And the longer the marriage, the more my heart aches.

Maybe because this couple was iconic in my youthful years. Maybe because they stayed out of the limelight, not airing their dirty laundry for all to see.

Maybe it is because in just eight-and-a-half years, my husband and I will be married for 39 years.

I usually don’t care why a couple breaks up, because, quite frankly, it is none of my business. But this time, I want to know. And I am not being nosy, because I am not seeking answers so I can scrutinize, demoralize or judge this couple.

I want answers, because what ever happened to end their marriage of almost 40 years, I don’t want it happening in mine.

Oh, that sounds really selfish, doesn’t it?

Certainly, I don’t intend for that to be selfish. I am truly curious. After conquering all of life’s ups and downs for so many years, what was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back at this stage of the game? And if either of them had any advice to share, I’d be happy to listen.

Truly, I feel a profound sense of loss for them. It can’t be easy to try to move on without the other.

Ironically, my spouse and I were discussing marriage just before I heard about Dragon’s and Tennille’s impending divorce. As I was doing some research online, I ran across numerous blogs about marriages ending after decades. Sharing the heartbreaking results with my husband, I asked him, “What about us? How can we prevent this?”

We have a long history, which includes a lot of love, a great friendship, some difficult times and a wonderful family. Maybe the separation due to military exercises, deployments and temporary duty gives us an appreciation of what life apart from each other is like. We learned not to take each other for granted, because we never know what curve ball life will throw our way. One set of orders can mean a year or more of separation.

We want to be a good example for our two children who are already married, and for the younger two who are still at home. We choose to tackle everything together as a team – good or bad.

Maybe there is good in knowing that if we don’t embrace each other, we could lose each other – kind of like, “live like you know you are dying.”

I am not sure what the answer is. All I know is that I hurt for this couple. I hope that they find the comfort and support they will need to get through this difficult time.

For me, I am a hopeless romantic.  I will continue to pray for my husband, our marriage and our family. I will pray that the Lord continues to bless us with many more years together. My husband is my best friend, and I can’t imagine life without him. 

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

Share your comments below.

 

 

A Call for Decency on #Social Media

decency“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” – Said by mothers everywhere, to include Thumper’s mom in Bambi.

I remember, several years ago (okay, really, it’s been decades), my youngest brother and his pal were teasing a kid behind his back. My mom overhead the two, and asked my brother, “How do you feel, knowing you could be the reason someone is crying in their pillow tonight?”

How’s that for a “make-you-think” moment?

I am not sure when it happened, or why, but negativity and nastiness is thriving across the lines of social media, rearing its ugly head in comment sections; personal attacks are found under articles and blogs posted online, in tweets and on Facebook. Like a fungus given the perfect humid conditions, the rudeness keeps growing and festering, bringing itself to a new level – almost daily.

Here are two examples that happened within the past month or so. These are the condensed versions of the posts (links provided), but you’ll get the gist:

  • A public relations executive tweeted a snarky comment about race and catching AIDS on a trip to Africa.
  • A reporter tweeted about the tainted-water crisis in West Virginia, and how they can now work on incest.

Let’s see here: The public relations executive, a high-profiled professional in her field, dealing with social media daily, should have known better. The reporter, discussing a very serious, potentially deadly situation, should have known better. These people have a good number of followers. They are educated. Sadly, they are not alone.

Maybe they thought they were being witty. Maybe they wanted their comments to “go viral.” Maybe they believed that their words wouldn’t follow them.

Maybe they are completely wrong.

Sure, they tweeted out their obligatory apologies. But the damage was done. Once a person puts something out on social media, it is there to stay. It doesn’t matter if you delete your post or comment, there is a good bet that someone has taken a screen shot and propelled the nasty sentiments even further into cyberspace.

Apparently, getting behind a computer screen, a smart phone or some other device makes one bullet-proof? Yeah…no. Maybe that was true back when people disguised themselves under a different handle (and we know how well that worked for a White House staff member a few months ago). To further my point, go read an article on any news website, and you will find nasty comments about the subject of the article, and in many cases, against the other folks commenting.

What gets into people’s heads?

Our tweens and teens sit through hours of anti-bullying classes and seminars on the proper etiquette of social media. What’s the point, when professionals in high-powered careers – those who should know better – negate everything that is taught? What a great example they are setting… not.

I enjoy social media, when it is used properly. It is great to connect to family, friends and business associates who are literally around the world. But it gets tiresome to see the misuse, the nastiness, the passive-aggressive posts and the drama.

If a commenter or poster had to look a real, live person straight in the eye, would the improper, personal attacks and vicious posts and tweets ever get posted?

Please, think before you speak… and post, tweet or publish.

You just don’t know how it may come back to haunt you, and worse, how it could hurt someone else.

© Lynne Cobb – 2014

Have you noticed an uptick in the nastiness in social media? Let me know in the comment section. If you like this post, feel free to share it with others (links to share are listed below).

 

Stuck in a Polar Vortex

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-01-08-16.54.30.jpg.jpg“While I relish our warm months, winter forms our character and brings out our best.”  – Tom Allen

Well, one day I can tell my future grandchildren, “We survived the Polar Vortex of 2014!” My two granddaughters will chime in and tell their future cousins, “It snowed and snowed and then it was so cold, we missed five days of school!”

After being stuck in the house for days – which seems like years – it is comical how I continue to look at the rising thermometer with glee. For the first time in a few days, the mercury is rising, and we are at temps above zero. Seventeen degrees never felt so good.

Being housebound, I’d like to say I accomplished a lot, but that would be the farthest thing from the truth. I could have cleaned closets and cupboards, but I didn’t. Instead, I did a lot of reflecting and observing. Nothing like a weather crisis to bring on some serious people-watching.

So, from my snow-covered, frozen little corner of the world, I have penned what I learned about myself and humanity during a snowstorm and polar vortex:

The Negative:

  • Humans can be greedy. Okay, this news junkie decided to watch The Weather Channel for the first several hours of the snowstorm, as I was curious to see the extent of Mother Nature’s fury. I was in awe of how massive the storm system was. The stories and images of people clearing out grocery shelves was a sad statement. How many gallons of milk, loaves of bread and cartons of eggs do we need to survive a few days?
  • News anchors sound silly. My intelligence was insulted repeatedly with information on how to survive the cold and snow. It is winter. It snows. It gets cold – sometimes brutally cold. Generations before us survived without the idiot lessons – just saying…
  • Concern over animals. I read and heard more coverage on how to protect pets and wildlife from the elements than I did about checking on the homeless and elderly. That kind of bothered me. A lot.
  • Cold is painful. Ouch – walking out the door was like being slapped in the face!

wpid-storageemulated0DCIMCamera2014-01-08-20.10.13.jpg.jpg

The Positive:

  • Humans are compassionate: I heard and saw how good we can be to each other. Wonderful stories emerged of individuals rising to the occasion and coming to the aid of their fellow man, such as helping others free their cars from snow banks, clearing their neighbors’ walkways of snow and helping to start stalled cars. It was refreshing to see and hear of folks putting others’ needs first. Random acts of kindness.
  • Social media: The other evening, I had a great time on social media. I learned how cold it was in other areas of the country, saw incredible snow and ice pictures, and just had amazing conversations with friends, family and neighbors from around the world. We were all stuck inside, but able to communicate, and that was really a blessing.
  • Crash-course in mathematics: Remember the number charts: …-3, -2, -1, 0, 1, 2, 3…? Interesting how all of that came back to me as I watched the thermometer drop – and rise again! Glad I can remember how to do simple math!
  • Science nerd: Why not have a little fun? A few summers ago, during a heat wave, I cooked an egg on the sidewalk. With record cold temps, my daughter and I were like giddy kids, wanting to try something new. So, we boiled water, opened the door, flung the water away from the house and watched it vaporize and change its form before our very eyes. First we tried our experiment in the dark, and then during the daylight. Very cool both times. We blew bubbles (after defrosting the frozen bottle overnight) and watched how they solidified and shattered like glass in the cold. A few of the bubbles froze to the wand! Of course we were careful, as true scientists would be, and made sure we were protected from the elements and boiling water. Bazinga.
  • Apologies: I realized I needed to call my mother and apologize for rolling my eyes at her back when I was a teen. Over the past few days, my own teens thought I was overprotective when I wouldn’t let them drive on ice-covered roads. If the State Police advise not driving in certain areas, and schools are closed due to black ice, what makes a teen think he or she is invincible? Oh, their hysterical laughter would have been music to my ears if I was at an open mike night at the local comedy club. But alas, I was not. I was just standing at the door, merely suggesting to have a hat and gloves in case the car breaks down or gets stuck in a snow rut. At that very moment, I knew then how my parents felt. Sorry, Mom and Dad!
  • Teens vs. Toddlers:  Snow days with teens are easier than with younger kids. Why? Because they sleep away most of the day! Enough said.
  • Gratitude: Giving thanks to God that we never lost power, that we had plenty of firewood and a well-stocked pantry, that we have a place to call home and that we didn’t have it as bad as others did – all are blessings to not take for granted.

So, while the fierce winter winds wailed and the snowflakes and mercury steadily dropped, my observation is that during this crazy weather week, there was a lot more positive than negative. That was good.

Yes, our family and many others survived a moment in history. A moment that I pray won’t be repeated. If I never again have the chance to toss boiling water into the air, I won’t complain. If I never hear the words “polar vortex” again, I won’t be bothered a bit. I can safely cross “visit Antarctica” from my bucket list.

For sure, it will be a winter to remember. On the bright side, there are only 70 days until spring! 🙂

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© Lynne Cobb – 2014

If you were caught in the Polar Vortex, what did you do to survive? Any astute observations? Let me know in the comment section!