I am 63 years old and have been married to my Roomy for 31.5 years. Yep, that's half my life. So for half my life I have been Jo Heroux. For the first 17 years I was Jo Settle. Then for 10 years I was Jo Ballard. Then for 2 years I was Jo Haueisen.
Each of those women were different. As I look back at who I was and why I became her, I realize the life I was living created the woman I became. I liked Jo Settle, but I like Jo Heroux much more. She is a nicer person. A less selfish woman. A woman who gives without expectation. A woman who knows the blessings bestowed in her life and is grateful and has not forgotten the heartaches and pain of the younger woman she once was.
Half of my life I have shared with the man who made the most horrendous move in the history of moves on the night that we officially met. I have raised my own children with him and helped to raise a couple of his. I have opened my heart to his children as if they had come from my body because they came from his. He has fathered my children because he was the only father they knew who didn't go away and forget to come back. He was the only father who would never get so mad at them that they couldn't be forgiven. Oh, he got mad at them, but never forever. He always remembered who the adult was. His heart has never closed to anyone who once lived in it. He loves forever.
Half of my life I have been the wife of someone I like. That is so much more important than I ever knew. Lust and hotness are lessened with age, but like is capable of simply growing. He's my buddy and he's my Roomy and he's the love I have never for a second doubted. He's the man who still warms my heart when he smiles at me. Still makes me want to be my best self because he thinks I am much better than I really am. I am the best wife I know how to be. I see my shortcomings, but I also know that he is happy so, I think I'm doing okay.
This was September 2010
The first half of my life I was finding my way. I was getting ready and growing into the woman who would be right for Roomy. This half of my life I am learning and becoming his other half.
Starting very soon, I will have been with my husband for longer than I was without him. That is how life is suppose to unfold, I think. You are supposed to be with your other half, your better half most of your life.
Marriage is not easy for anyone long term, but with the right one, it's so doable. It's also so worth it. The effort of the early years have paid high dividends for me. I hope he feels the same. The most he has really every verbalized to me about this was during an anniversary celebration when he said, "I have no complaints. I'd do this thing again."
Smooth talkers always get me!
Half my life was climbing and now half my life has been relaxing on the top of the hill.