We Were So Alike Until We Got Married

(This post may have a familiar ring to it. You may have read it on the first go around Feb. 14, 2017, but it’s especially appropriate for a revisit before Valentine’s Day sneaks up on you.)


I was twenty. So was he.

We didn’t go through a lot of wrenching machinations about if we were right for each other. I loved Jesus. He loved Jesus. We loved each other. We were both headed for missions. Marriage was the next step of the commitment. Love. Marriage. Baby carriage. That’s pretty much how it happened way back when.

And so, as a young newlywed bride, I packed his tin lunchbox with sandwiches and love notes and sent him off to work in the morning with a long kiss.

We were so alike until we got married.

Every day he opened his lunch box with trepidation. Under his bright yellow hard hat, he sweat bullets while the guys on the crew waited to find out what was in the box so they could rib him.  He suffered in silence for awhile.

One day, when the ink on the marriage license was still fresh, I hid about 1,000 tiny metallic red and pink cut out hearts inside the folds of his wrapped sandwich, cookies and napkin. He pulled out the napkin to wipe his blackened work hands. Tiny hearts floated like snowflakes through the sunbeams of the construction site dust. When the laughter quieted, He reached into the round top lunchbox and pulled out his sandwich. Hearts landed on metal supports, wet cement and mud covered work boots. He left the cookies in the box.

That was the end of the romantic lunches.

I still hit and miss sometimes in my attempts to show affection, to understand what he likes and doesn’t. We are after all, male and female.

He loves technology.

He likes sweat.

He makes noises that make me think he is dying. So far so good on that.

I don’t always find the best way of honoring him, but I try.

Through the years the hunt has mutated. It’s given way to an ever romantic Amazon on-line list with things I’ve never heard of before. A Lotos-Plasma-Cutter-Tig-Stick-Welder-3-in-1-Combo-Welding-Machine, how breathtaking is that, and a Premium-roll-and-lock-truck-bed-cover. Both languish with their selfies online, waiting to materialize on my front porch.

It is hard to think like he does, and when I do, it’s not always profitable. If I choose something for him because it’s what I’d want, it’s precisely that; what I want. If I find something he wants, I can’t even figure out what it is.

And then Valentine’s Day hits. It often comes as a shock somehow to many men. Sneaks up during the night. And BAM…who knew? Who, in the dark of night, stuck February 14 on the calendar?

Who needs those little romantic nudges anyway?

Life has a way of going around and coming around.

So, a couple of days ago while I was in my husband’s office, on a whim, I ripped off a piece of yellow lined paper and wrote, “You’re amazing.” The memory of how I’d embarrassed him when we were just married dimmed but still a faded warning dinged in my mind. Hoping no one else saw it, I laid it on his keyboard, left it there and forgot about it.

Today, at home, my husband pulled his wallet out and opened it to write a reminder on his little pocket calendar. Technology aside, he still loves his little agenda.

Pen poised to write, I was shocked to see a piece of yellow lined paper wedged into the fold of his worn brown leather wallet DayTimer. Almost as if it had a voice, that yellow paper shouted at me. I stopped mid-step, craned my neck and stared.

The words, “You’re amazing,” scrawled across the piece of paper in plain sight, folded to fit was pressed inside the calendar pages.

Surprised, I looked from the words to his face.

“I guess I just needed it then,” he said, his grin bashful, and might I add I believe there was a twinkle of pleasure? “Thank you.”

Hope has resurfaced.

Do they still make those little packs of a 1,000 cut out hearts somewhere? I’m going shopping.


*photo by Philip Schroeder June 1982

26 Replies

  1. Rebecca Thesman Reply

    Sweet and powerful post, Sylvia. I’m so glad the two of you are hanging in there – together !

  2. John Certalic Reply

    Great post, Sylvia! It is so you, which is why it is so good.

  3. Sylvia Schroeder Reply

    Thanks Rebecca! You are an encouragement!

  4. Anne-Marie Johnson Reply

    Excellent and beautiful. You brought a big grin on my face because what you write is sooooo true.

  5. Annie Banner Reply

    Great thoughts, Slyvia! ?

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks Annie!

  6. Jaime Reply

    I can do identify with this blog, Sylvia! Love it in every way 🙂

  7. SuZan Klassen Reply

    Cute. Sounds like you might stay married after all. Kidding! Just kidding.

  8. Kim Puckett Reply

    Yes they do still make them. They even have the foil hearts or glitter hearts!! ?

  9. Marilyn Krehbiel Reply

    Thanks Syl!!!!

  10. Barb Duerkop Reply

    Hi Sylvia–loved the picture and story. How young we once were!

  11. Judy Troyer Reply

    I enjoy reading the real life situations you share! God has blessed you with the gift of writing. Love you!

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Thanks so much Judy. You have been on my mind a lot recently. Miss you.

  12. J.D. Wininger Reply

    Awww shucks. Like the Grinch, my heart grew three sizes ma’am. Have you ever consider SHMILY notes? My wife Ms. Diane and I have been exchanging them for many years now. They stand for “See How Much I Love You” I’ve always loved finding them when I traveled around the world, or just in my laptop bag at the office. Of course, hiding them for her to find was always fun too. 🙂 God’s blessings ma’am.

  13. Cherie Reply

    Love this post! I just finished reading to the end. The ending was so good. I needed the message of not giving up in loving my family. Admittedly I needed the first half. Needed the laugh it brought. I may have read it 6 times!

  14. Lynn Reply

    This made me smile. I remember you both from those days and love your love.

    • Sylvia Schroeder Reply

      Ah yes. You two have always been such fun and so encouraging. Miss you guys.

  15. Jeannie Waters Reply

    Sylvia, your post brought many laughs from this reader as well as a commitment to discover what brings pleasure to those I love. Thank you.

  16. Barbara Latta Reply

    So much truth, so much humor. And I love the title. Thank you for sharing your journey. Happy Valentine’s Day to you both, with or without the glittery hearts!

  17. Marilyn Krehbiel Reply

    AWWWW SO special!!!!!!