Letter: Love is like a bungee cord

Sally Buckalew reflects on her 42 years of marriage.

Sally Buckalew poses with her husband in a photo she describes as “American Gothic” (Sally Buckalew/Special to The Sun).

I imagine a thick Bungee cord when describing our marriage, with my husband and I positioned at its ends… each pulling the other towards opposite directions. We have always been that couple whom others remark as a case of  “opposites attract.” While that may be true, the success of our long-lasting love may actually be the corners we turn to seek common ground, striving to find ways to stay securely attached.  Again, imagine that Bungee cord.

He is easy-going and laid back; let’s just say I’m energetic. He can sleep until noon, while I’m ready to greet the day before sunrise. I can trace these habits back to our first summer dating — and that’s way way back to 1977. I clocked into the Post Office at 6 a.m., often working a split shift that ended at 5:30 p.m. He spent summers employed at his family’s restaurant from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. I guess that gave us about half an hour for dating. 

Through our 42 years of marriage, I can enumerate endless examples of our opposing viewpoints, from our early child rearing days to our present status as retirees. So many decisions made through a lifetime. How do two people manage to stay on the same page? How does love endure?

For us, I believe our love story centers on each of us being able to stay true to ourselves while allowing the other the same freedom.  We’re not strangers to conflict, and have dealt with some very big ones through the years. But they haven’t been able to overpower our will to resolve to forgive, to value, and celebrate the differences that attracted us to each other so long ago.

-Sally Buckalew