They came shuffling to the table beside ours. The couple was in their late eighties or early nineties. Neither of them was very tall, and the husband was hunched over a cane with large spectacles on his nose. His wife was also hunched over and was pushing a walker very slowly. He slid into the bench seat, and his wife shuffled away to get their food at the buffet.
My mom and I were on a cruise about seven years ago when we saw this adorable couple. We must have been eating for twenty minutes when she finally appeared. A young man was walking behind the wife with two plates of food. They stopped, and she said to her husband, “You moved.”
He assured her he hadn’t gone anywhere.
They argued back and forth as the young man stood listening, and still holding their heavy plates.
Finally, she sat down, and the young man put their food down for them and scooted away. She looked at her husband and accused him of moving again. He promised her he hadn’t moved. She told him they had been walking around the dining room for twenty minutes searching for him.
He promised her again he had not moved.
The elderly couple ate their lunch in silence for ten minutes, and Mom and I were chatting with each other as we enjoyed our delicious meal. Every once in a while I’d peek over at the wife and still had a scowl on her face. Then she looked up at him one more time…,”You moved!”
The Huffington Post has an article click here: Post on why elderly couples fight.
Mom and I were grinning at each other by this point, and I felt sorry for the patient husband and wanted to defend him, but it is best to stay out of other people’s marital spats.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. James 3:17
Watching them caused me to think about all the times I had been too big for my own britches and refusing to listen.
I often wonder what my husband Vance and I will be like when we are old. Will we still be fighting about the weather forecast and the bathroom, or will it be about things we think we know, but we don’t because we have memories that aren’t so sharp anymore?
*Watch this video until the end…very cute.
I am one of those people who looks out the window each day to see what the weather is going to be. I really don’t think about it beyond that day. Vance, on the other hand, will start looking up the future climate for a particular day, a month ahead of time. It kind of drives me crazy.
We were out driving one day, and I turned to Vance and asked, “If you could change careers what would you do?” He was thinking about it for a moment, when I said to him, “I bet you would love being a weatherman.”
He looked at me with and with great enthusiasm said, ” I could do that. I could be wrong every day.”
I laughed. That is the truth. I haven’t met a weatherman who knew what he was really talking about. But Vance finds it amusing and entertaining to check the weather seventy-five times a day. Okay, I might be exaggerating a bit, but I’m not too far off.
This is probably one of the only times I am right…about the weather. I keep arguing with Vance that the weatherman doesn’t know what he’s talking about. You’d think I’d give up on this and just let him enjoy his delusional weather forecasts, but that would be boring.
I could see that between the little old couple, she was the one who always had to be right and he was the patient husband who just rolled his eyes inwardly. There was something vaguely familiar about her…oh yes, me.
When Vance met me, I would argue till I was blue in the face and once I realized he was right, I would keep fighting.
I had to be right.
Being right was the goal. I was proud. If I was wrong, Vance had won, and I had lost.
I could never admit I was wrong.
Vance watched me fail at things over and over when he had warned me, “You shouldn’t be doing that, something doesn’t seem right.” I would ignore him and do it anyways.
When we had been married a few months, he begged me to make homemade bread, and I told him I didn’t know how. But he persisted. I’m not sure why he didn’t just attempt to make the dough himself. Finally, after pestering me one day nonstop, I decided to try bread making.
Vance was watching and noticed I put it in the oven to cook. “Aren’t you suppose to raise the bread first?”
“Laurie gave me the recipe, and she never wrote down that I had to raise the bread. I think it’s one of those no-raise recipes, ” I said.
“I’m pretty sure all bread dough needs to be raised?” Vance said.
I ignored him and let the bread cook.
An hour later we were staring at the sad looking creation. Vance got out a knife and tried to cut the loaf, but the blade couldn’t cut through the rock-hard crust. Then he pulled out the electric knife…
There we stood looking at the uncuttable bread. Vance thumped it with his knuckles, and it sounded like a wooden door.
An unspoken sentence hung between us. Vance had been right, and I had been wrong, but I wasn’t going to admit it.
Within a year I was making beautiful loaves of bread, after Laurie, who initially gave me the recipe took an afternoon to teach me how to make the bread.
I still, from time to time, can be too proud to admit when I’m wrong, and Vance has to talk some sense into me. But over the years I have learned that sometimes he has some wisdom to offer.
I also realized my kids were going to be just like me and if I couldn’t learn to be humble and admit when I was wrong, they would end up a proud fool like their mother. Focus on the Family has a lovely article, Helping Your Kids Develop Humility. This article is written to help children, and I was an adult and needed the piece.
You may be like me: stubborn, having to be right, or doing it your way. Maybe it’s affecting your friendships, your relationship with your parents, or your marriage. Are you struggling with taking the advice someone is offering you because you are too proud to admit they might be correct?
You might possibly be that parent who is wrong from time to time, but you won’t admit it to your kids. Our children have less resentment and bitterness when parents apologize and say “I’m sorry, I was wrong.”
Someone you love might have given you advice about a new job, a big purchase, your health, or a new relationship. The people nearest to you have cautioned you, but you want to turn a deaf ear and go forward anyway, doing it your own way.
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Proverbs 19:20 ESV
Maybe you really are making a good choice, and you have peace with a decision, and sometimes that is the case. This happened to me when I decided to educate our kids at home. Everyone around me told me no, including my husband, but I pressed forward with prayer till my husband had peace about it too. Our kids are grown now, and we have no regrets about that decision. It was tough to go forward with a choice that everyone else was saying was a bad idea.
There have been many times when it was the opposite, and my loved ones told me so. I had to swallow my pride, and in the end, I was thankful for their wisdom.
I don’t want to be the shuffling elderly lady who was wrong but kept stubbornly saying she was right and wouldn’t listen to her husband. You know, too big for my britches.
It’s beautiful when we learn to have listening ears and a soft heart toward those who love us and want to offer wisdom that will save us later from many regrets and remorse.
People who love you the most will be the most truthful, but it will be your choice whether you take their words and use them like gold in your life or discard their wisdom.
You may be like me, and one day thank that person you love for sprinkling kindness into your life and being sweet enough to speak the truth to you.💗
Blessed are those who find wisdom,
those who gain understanding,
for she is more profitable than silver
and yields better returns than gold.
She is more precious than rubies;
nothing you desire can compare with her.
Long life is in her right hand;
in her left hand are riches and honor.
Her ways are pleasant ways,
and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her;
those who hold her fast will be blessed.
Proverbs 3: 13-18 NIV