Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Heel

Yesterday, I attended a co-ed Wedding Shower for my son and my soon-to-be daughter.   

Together, they are learning the trials and tribulations of life. They've already learned some valuable lessons and will, no doubt, continue to learn more as the days and years go by. 

As tradition will have it, many times family or friends will share with newly married couples the secret to a successful relationship. I always quip, when asked,  that only one spouse is allowed to be crazy at a time. Generally, throughout my 29 year marriage, that statement applied to me. 

Oldies but goodies are the ones we've always heard before about never going to bed angry, always kiss each other goodnight, pray together. 

But during the gathering yesterday, a story was shared  that I had never heard before. It was a touching story and the depth of the message caught many of us off guard. There was nary a dry eye in the house as the last word was uttered..

I researched the web a bit to see if I could find the story so as not to recreate it from memory and perhaps forget an important detail or two. I found several references, but they all paled in comparison to the story that was relayed to us as we sat in the living room of the bride's family. 

So with apologies for any oversights or omissions (thank goodness for the ability to edit should the need arise) and thanks to the lovely woman who shared this rare and priceless gem. It will change the way I look at my own marriage, for certain. I hope it speaks to all who read it here.

The Heel 

A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years; quite an accomplishment in and of itself. Certainly, they had learned and implemented every tool needed to have a loving, successful marriage.

At the end of every day, while the wife prepared their tea, the husband would lovingly toast and butter a piece of bread for each of them so they would have something in their stomachs before retiring for the evening.

For years, as he would reach into the bread loaf  he would occasionally be presented with a regular slice of bread and the heel to toast, butter, and serve with jam. The husband would automatically, and without fail, always place the toasted heel in front of his wife. 

For 60 years, the wife had held her tongue with regards to the fact that she found this to be selfish act which bothered her greatly. She hated the heel !!! But on this day, as she stared at the heel of bread in front of her, she could hold her silence no longer. Maybe it was the stress of the day that gotten to her, maybe she was simply tired, but his giving her the heel of the loaf of bread again had gotten to her, and she was going to let him have a piece of her mind!

  “Why do you always give me the heel when you keep the normal piece of the bread for yourself ?  You have done this our entire marriage, and I can't take it anymore!  How self-centered and selfish of you! I hate the heel!” 

The husband sat  across from his wife, listening, with his head hung low, while she demeaned him for his lack of consideration that had spanned six decades. 

And when she had finished making her point, with tears in his eyes, he lifted his head and he spoke. 

“The heel has always been my favorite piece of bread. I have given you the heel of the loaf all these years because I love you. I thought you liked it. I thought you knew it was my way of showing you how much I loved you.”  

The moral of the story here, dear friends, is just how important the art of communication is... in any relationship. Communicate to each other. Just because something makes perfect sense to you doesn't mean that your friend, family, coworker, or loved one fully understands your intentions.

I'm so thankful that this story was shared with my son and his bride. It is an important lesson and invaluable in the early stages of marriage.  I love you Jacob & Amanda. You're going to be just fine and just remember to leave all the craziness to this mamma <3

Reader: Please feel free to pass this along to those you love....

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