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The J.O.Y. Rule

April 12, 2012


“So, how long have you two been married?”, I asked my eighty eight year old new client the other day as I was driving him to a doctor’s appointment.

“Well”, he said slightly out of breath after climbing into my car. “Sixty five years this fall. We have started down sizing everything, my wife wants to get rid of some of the things we have collected over the years.”, he said this with a heaviness in his voice that was unrelated to being winded.

I smiled over at the man, “Wow, sixty five years! That is amazing, you certainly don’t hear that number anymore this day and age.”. Then I ask, “What’s your secret to longevity in marriage?”


“Good question.”, the old man ponders to himself for a moment and then raises his pointer finger. “It’s in your name, JOY. Put Jesus first, then others next, and yourself last.”, he said with a look of satisfaction.


Thank you Mr. New Client, what a nice little gift and an awesome reminder. When God is in the drivers seat, everything else falls into place. The secret to marriage will be easy for me to remember, it’s in my name. I pray that I get to spend that many years with the man I love.

I love you, baby. Here’s to experiencing JOY for many years to come.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Jungle Jim permalink
    April 12, 2012 5:54 pm

    Now you can say that, as a writer, your name is an emblematic motto. As an activist for social change, I enjoy organizing. Some groups, to put their best foot forward, will establish an emblematic motto to help both insiders & outsiders personalize the group’s “public face”. For example, Alcoholics anonymous’ is “Unity, Service, & Recovery.” About marriage; if a caretaker eventually is doing hospice care, that is what I would call a long-term relationship. I was married for three weeks before my wife moved in with her parents. They must be better caretakers than I was. After our divorce, my wife said, “All I wanted was to be warm, safe and dry.” I said, “NOW you tell me!”

  2. April 12, 2012 6:40 pm

    I ❤ this post. 🙂 My hubs and I recently celebrated our five-year anniversary. At times it seems we've been married forever, because I cannot imagine being married to anyone else. (and he is the epitome of all my male heroes in my novels – weird, since they were written before we even knew the other existed!) Other times it's as if it was only yesterday that we had the small garden ceremony before taking off on a 6-hour road trip to the Oregon Coast.

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