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Life’s rocky road

John Denver has a song that I love called “Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Stones.” The song describes how to determine whether your day is a diamond or a stone. Interestingly, the best days of your life are the “diamond days” while the days that are not so good are the “stone days.” Of course, we all hope that most of days are diamonds.

As my days have played out, I have had an assortment of both types of days as have most of you. There are days that stand out in my memory as being some of the best days of my life. The day I started school was one of my best days. I loved school always willing to learn new things. I remember telling my mother I would get home by myself when I went to school that first day. I was proud to be independent at that point and have maintained that attitude most of my life.

Another day that stands out is graduation day. I was not one who cried the day I graduated. I faced it with confidence looking forward to the next step in my life. I was off to college. My college experience was not the typical kind. I went to the college in my home town so I was a commuter.

I did not have the traditional stay in the dorm type experience. I lived at home and went to the college for my classes. That has always been kind of a thorn in my side. I longed to have the experience of a college roommate and living on campus.

Getting married was another diamond day. I was finished with college and teaching in Jamestown. I was ready to be married. My husband was a farmer who worked hard 365 days a year. We had little free time, but I loved living on the farm and raising the children there.

Two other diamond days were the days my children were born. Each one stands out as a milestone along my path in life. I loved being a mother. I loved teaching the children about nature and life in general. I was truly happy at that point.

Then, there were the days that I considered stones. When my husband became ill,

I was ever the helpmate, but so sad to see him deteriorate. Each day when I went out for the mail I cried. I had to be alone to do it so he would not see me. I knew our union was to be short-lived.

When the time came, I was not ready for it. I found solace in the Bible. I read devotions every morning. Some of the verses really spoke to me.

Several years later I wrote a book about grieving, incorporating those verses that brought me through this dark period of my life.

Although this book is short it is the most spiritual one that I have written. I wanted to share my experience with others so that they would know that what they were feeling was perfectly normal. When I am out on the speaking circuit I often tear up when I share about this book.

I am not going to include all of the little things that made my days stones. There were many days when things just were not right. I learned from every experience.

I grew into the woman that I am at this point in my life.

People have come into my life at just the point that I needed them. Each and every one had a purpose. Sometimes I was too blind to see what they brought to my life. Other times I thanked my lucky stars that they were there. I found things to keep me busy, people to help. That was what got me through those very long days after my husband died.

Now, I am in a new relationship. Don has been part of my life for a long time. My husband and I used to visit him and Diedra and sit around their island sharing coffee and conversation.

As we look back, we think that all of those visits were what eventually brought us together. The day of our marriage was one of those diamond days.

Also, diamond days are the days we spent on our honeymoon to Alaska visiting his daughter and her family. I had Melanie in school so we have known each other a long time.

To be able to see where she lives was a blessing. Melanie was so happy that her father and I were coming. She planned a special birthday celebration for each of us.

As we make our way through this pandemic, we are so happy that we are together. Life has been good. We are happy and content with our life. We are good for each other.

It is nice to have someone to do something with and for once again. Our hope is to continue our diamond days for a good long time.

He promised me 20 years but who knows!

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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