I once heard a story about a little boy named Joey. Joey was 11 years old, and in in the hospital where he would stay until he died of leukemia. The story was tragic, and hard to hear. Someone amongst those talking lamented, “He hasn’t had any time to live any kind of life!” I immediately thought “Are you sure?” as I heard the story. He had showed kindness to a number of them. And he had told stories about his “football days”. He’d been quite a little athlete, we’re told.
He talked about his favorite foods, that he really liked to try anything, and that the hospital food was … “alright,” he’d said hesitatingly. One of his favorite foods was cold fruit soup, and I can tell you something, I’ve eaten cold strawberry soup, cold mixed berry soup, and cold blueberry soup. Mmmmm-Mm! Cold fruit soup is amazing! Joey, who had eaten cold fruit soup, and played quarterback on the football field, had lived as big as possible in his eleven years. He’d also gone hunting with his dad and his Springer Spaniel he’d named Coco, and he’d made friends at school. He’d taken all the time he had to live a life.
Who are we to judge how much time it takes to make a life? The effort we need to be making is to live it out the best we can, together. As far as couples go, most who come in to us for counseling actually do not seek to destroy each other. Many partners who end up hurting each other actually want to learn ways to fruitfully communicate their frustration, hurt, and anger in ways that help the person they have loved understand their feelings, and gain their respect. With such a value, they get their shot with practice to live well, and adventurously with each other.
Seems fitting that your own stories of living out your relationship fruitfully can be told in a spoonful of cold fruit soup. We all need to be comparing notes about our own cold berry soups, and telling stories about whatever adventure we made possible for us in the process. Joey didn’t live long, but he didn’t wait to give a good life a whirl, and neither should you.