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May 16, 2015     Times
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Julian and Lois Schmidt The Threads of Acceptance in 72 Years Strong Julian and Lois Schmidt of Mt. Pulaski celebrated 72 years of marriage As their grandson who is in his 8th year of marriage, I am com- pletely mesmerized by the lon- gevity of love these two possess. Seventy-two years is an astonishing achievement! I hope to follow their lead and mirror their success in my own marriage. I've long observed my grand- parents with a careful eye and like big sponge I have absorbed from MAY IS NATIONAL HEARING MONTH! WE ARE CELEBRATING 30 YEARS OF QUALITY SERVICE Come in for a free hearing screening! HEAR BETTER ON THE TELEPHONE CRISP AND CLEAR...ELIMINATES BACKGROUND NOISES! They adjust to the environment automatically... TRrBEFORE rovBU! | Wireless Hearing , Technology | l t t $500 OFF a pair of wireless hearingaids We accept many insurances! TRADE INALLOWANCE ON USED HEARING AIDS! IMPROVE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE, FROM CUSTOM FIT TO TINY BEHING THE EAR FREE BATTERIES FOR A EARI THREE YEAR WARRANTY COVERAGEI RINGING IN YOUR EARS? WE CAN HELP YOU! Check out our website! www.hearfngaidcenterlincoln.com GIFT CERTIFICATES ARE AVAILABLE! "I'HE BC-HIS 1201 WOODLAWN ROAD LINCOLN,. IL 62656 FREE TRIAL PERIOD! CALL US TODAY! (217) 735-3573 MONFRI 9AM3PM them as much wisdom as possible. Even as a little boy, it was clear to me that Grandma and Grandpa had something special. In this article, I hope to honor and recognize them for their accomplishment of suc- cessful marriage. I also want to share a single thread that I have seen in their relationship: some- thing I believe to be the glue hold- ing the entire thing together. Often times someone will ask them, "How have you been married for so long?" Their jovial response is usually something like, "We just make it work," (said with a smile). My grandparents are funny to be around because they don't always get along perfectly, seeing eye to eye on everything. I have always gotten a kick out of watching them disagree about various things; from remembering the details of some- thing in the past to Grandma shak- ing her head at Grandpa because he can't hear her well when she asks for more coffee. I can hear her now, "Julian. Julian! JULIAN!!! More COFFEE please!" Before writing this piece I called my brother, Adam Schmidt, to get his thoughts on our grandparents' relationship. He said, "Of course marriage is difficult. Think of it: you have two people from two totally different family worldviews and backgrounds coming together to create one united identity." That does sound hard! You would think after 72 years of marriage that these two would have developed a completely harmonious relation- ship. Refreshingly, this isn't the cse. When we accept that mar- riage is inherently difficult we can no longer resent when our marriage becomes difficult. I believe that one key one aspect of the glue that has made it work for my grandparents all these years is learning to accept each other for exactly who they are. I have never sensed that they wished the other was different or needed to change to make the relationship better. What may be right for Grandma doesn't necessarily mean that is HAS to be right for Grandpa. They model this well for us as tfiey leave space in their marriage for there to be a difference of opinions, which can be very healthy. After all there is no such thing as an imperfect spouse. With my grandparents it seems as though there is an acceptance of each other's imperfections and per- haps this is the greatest glue that bonds the two together, It's comi- cal to see an established couple in their 90's have friction between them. Yet there is always a subde playfulness about their squabbles and disagreements. From the out- side watching them, it is endearing. For them, it seems to be that they don't take their differences too seri- ously. It brings me comfort seeing that perfect harmony or a higher degree of agreement is not a requirement for their longevity of marriage. When I think about acceptance in my own marriage, I define it as nothing more than being at peace with the truth, the truth of who my spouse is. Early in my marriage I fell into the trap of thinking that if I get upset enough with my spouse, then she will somehow get the hint and become exactly the way I want her to be. Obviously this doesn't happen. In fact, I have found that the more I resist the way my wife is, the worse the situation becomes, because she meets my resistance with resistance of her own. When I look at Grandma Lois and Grandpa Julian I see a happy marriage that exists between two friends who are different and yet do not tug on each other with expecta- tions to change. I stispect, instead of focusing on the occasional dis- appointments, they choose to be grateful for the positive ways the other compliments them while realizing their own imperfections. They love, accept, and respect each other. The result has been an enduring and expansive marriage. The example my grandparents have shown me in marriage goes beyond marriage into all relation- ships. It would do all of us good to give all the people in our life full permission to be the way they are. Not judging them or trying to change them into something we would prefer. Just let them be their own unique version of themselves and don't take differences too seri- ously. Let's resolve to meet "differ- ences in our relationships with the sort of playfulness that my grand- parents have modeled. Perhaps that is the simple key to relational lon- gevity? Note to Grandma and Grandpa on behalf of all the grandchildren: thank you for modeling a beauti- ful marriage with the multifaceted differences you've discovered in it. We appreciate you, love you, and are forever grateful for you. Much love to you from Jordan and all of your kids. By Jordan Schmidt E m I-t t o i.t ol