As I venture forward into a future without Sue or Shirley, I’m comforted by these words of wisdom from Shirley herself. They are from a speech she wrote for our wedding, and I read them at her service.
Take advantage of the insight that only a century of living and loving can truly bring. I think you’ll find there are lessons in here that speak to each and every one of us.
I learned that life doesn’t always go the way you plan, but I also learned that is not always a bad thing. Sometimes the curves life throws us can unexpectedly lead to a better path.
Herschel and I survived many challenges during our 50 years together, but during that time we grew up, and fortunately for us, we grew together. We discovered just how important it was to be honest with one another and not to be afraid to say “I’m sorry” when things didn’t go quite the way we intended.
We learned to treasure the friendship we started with and to build on that relationship. We grew to understand we could be angry and upset with one another, and that wouldn’t change the love we had for each other.
We came to respect the strengths and the weaknesses we each brought to our life together, and we developed a sense of humor. We discovered that laughter often helped ease the way to better understanding. Many of the things we initially thought were disappointments and mistakes ended up being our true successes.
Life is made up of so many things: passion, adventure, love, frustration, disappointments, and successes, but as I look back on my life, I can say it was a wonderful journey and one I’d love to do over again if I could.
I’m not going to attempt to tell you how to manage your life. You’ll learn that just as I did. I only pray that it will be as successful, happy, and long, and that you, too, will one day be able to look back and be able to say:
It was a wonderful journey.