resting place

Over coffee we squeezed in conversation before our kids woke up to begin the day. I asked Scott, “Do you think we’re meant to be? Because I don’t know if I believe in that.”

Steeped in reality, soul mates and destiny weren’t ideas I indulged. It was great fodder for novels, but not for me.

Scott said, “I don’t know if I believe in it either, but.”

I finished, “But sometimes it feels that way.”

Before the car crash we had been together for only 6 weeks, new to love. We fell hard, fast. After the crash we loved each other in the hospital, during rehabilitation, through vows and the birth of our babies.

I didn’t know what to expect when I got married. I knew it wouldn’t be a fairy tale. We had already experienced life in all its reckless glory. So, what now? What would a life together hold, bound by contract and rings? I discovered marriage is: belly laughing, sobbing on his shoulder, being tempted to walk out the door, throwing salt on icy stairs so I don’t fall, a place of contention and calm. It wasn’t what I was expecting. It is more and less, imperfect and perfect. Scott is my resting place, a sanctuary.

‘Meant to be’ can be dangerous, as if I have no control over my life.  I’m hurtling toward a destination and my decisions don’t matter. There are no forks in the road. Soul mates are sewn together, not to be torn apart. But, what if things don’t work out? What if we just can’t be together anymore? It happens.

I believe in mystery and the unexplainable, in magic and God. And I believe in choices. I choose commitment, marriage, love. Scott and I choose each other every day. We are meant for each other because we’ve made each other our destinies, our soul mates.

I wrote this in response to the writing prompt ‘It wasn’t what I was expecting’ at Studio30 Plus. They have a new site which you should check out and then you’ll totally want to join. It’s a community of writers and bloggers for those of us 30 and up. I’m fairly new over there and it’s been a great, rewarding experience.

I’m also with YeahWrite this week because they’re awesome, another fabulous community of supportive writers.

96 thoughts on “resting place

  1. Kerstin

    Do you think your relationship would have been different if you had met after the accident? Would you have a strong bond, like you have now? I always wonder about stuff like that.
    I don’t think many relationships are strong enough to survive trauma, not because of the nature of relationships, but because of the nature of people.
    You are an incredibly strong (and probably stubborn;)) person; and I absolutely believe what you write is true – it is the way it is because you made it this way, and that’s hard work. But rewarding. Scott is a very lucky man.

    1. heidi Post author

      Can I just say that very few people tell me “Scott is a lucky man.” Often it’s the other way around – that I am lucky to have him. So, when I read this I smiled a big, big smile. It just meant a lot to me. Thank you.
      To answer your question…I don’t know. I know we got serious fast and sometimes I wonder if, on some level, God, the universe, something inside us was preparing us for these life-altering events? This is where I believe in the unexplainable.;) I feel as though we met at just the right time. If we met after…who knows…we might have a different story. But, I think mine would be still be fueled by stubbornness. 🙂

  2. tara pohlkotte

    oh, Heidi. I believe the exact. same. thing. I believe love is a choice. an action. not just an emotion. it can be hard, this joining your life with another, yet so rewarding. Is it fair to say that for once, I am secretly jealous of not yet being 30? I hear all this great stuff about Studio30 and it will be a full year and a half before I can play too. sigh. let me know if they grandfather youngins’ in…I promise I’ll act old..hehe 🙂

    1. heidi Post author

      I wish you could join! One more year is too long for them to not have all that writerly goodness that is you. I’m not kidding. You can write!!!

  3. Toriz

    Awww… Sweet post!

    I believe relationships work if people make them, and even if they’re “meant to be” they’ll only remain so if the people in them choose to make them remain so.

  4. Jeff D'Antonio

    I found your blog a few days ago. I don’t remember how I landed here, but I’ve spent the last few days reading every post from the beginning. You are an amazing writer, and the story of your accident and recovery was both heartbreaking and inspiring. The way you described your first days in the hospital, and all the things you endured in the days and months and years that followed, gave me just a tiny glimpse into your life. I won’t pretend to know what you’ve gone through, but I felt like I could relate to much of it through my brother’s eyes – he spent many years in rehab after being injured as a soldier in Iraq. He was never as good at articulating it as you are, but he undoubtedly felt many of the same emotions you did, and I feel like I have a better understanding of what he went through after reading your account. So thanks for that.

    1. heidi Post author

      I read this earlier today and this, you just grabbed my heart today. I’m so moved and touched by your brother’s journey. How is he today?
      Thank you so much for your kind, kind words.

  5. Jeff D'Antonio

    Oh, and I totally agree about “meant to be”. What’s “meant to be” is what you make happen. I believe we choose our own destinies (even though bad stuff sometimes happens along the way), and we get to decide how to make something positive out of whatever comes.

    You and Scott have endured much together. You didn’t choose to endure it, but you chose to endure it together. And that makes all the difference.

    1. heidi Post author

      I agree – we can make something good out of something bad. I like what you said..endure it together. Endure is certainly the word for it. 🙂
      Thank you again for being here and for your words.

    1. heidi Post author

      Kelly! Hi!
      I love the writing prompts. I’m not kidding. If I’m lost with writing it’s a great place to jump-start me.

  6. Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    I am having a hard time writing, because I am still nodding and this all feels right. We do choose to fall in love with each other over and over and over again. 16 years into marriage and it is harder to make time to be together than ever (5 kids are a pretty big hurdle to alone time), but so worth it. I love that he is your “resting place, a sanctuary.” Beautiful, Erin

    PS–Gonna check out Studio30Plus too. Thanks!

    1. heidi Post author

      Wow! 16 years. And 5 kids. And writing fabulous blog posts. 🙂 You’re right – it is worth it and rewarding even if it can be a lot of work sometimes.
      Yes! Check out Studio30. Go!

  7. Charlotte

    This is beautiful. And so very true. I think what struck me the most in this piece was the salt on the steps. It’s the little things that make it all worthwhile, and that small gesture is a sign of love and devotion, care and concern. Life and love are never the fairytale we expect them to be but what you have formed together transcends that in many ways. Great response to the Studio30 writing prompt!

    1. heidi Post author

      Hi Charlotte! I’m so glad you’re here.
      Yes – to the little things. It is the little things that often become the big things, especially in relationships. Thank you for your sweet, thoughtful words.

  8. Delilah

    This was just….perfect. I believe that certain people are destined for each other but whether or not they find each other is another story. I also believe that finding each other is the easy part. It takes dedication and determination to stay together through the tough times. This post uplifted my heart this morning Heidi. Thank you!

    1. heidi Post author

      Dedication and determination and a little destiny…sounds like the perfect combination to me.
      You uplift my heart, Delilah! Thank you.

  9. stephanie

    Speaking from the other side of a divorce I agree that we are not “meant for each other.” Though I believe you can make that happen if you want to. It takes effort. If I had it to do over again I would do it differently, but we all say that, don’t we, when disappointment enters our lives. I like your words, Scott is your sanctuary. My ex and I are still close and I look upon him as a sanctuary even though I have someone else in my life. So in that respect maybe we are “meant for each other.” Nicely written, as always, Heidi.

    1. heidi Post author

      Thank you for your insight and wisdom here. Truly. How great to still have a good relationship with your ex.
      Thank you so much, Stephanie.

  10. Tania Elfersy (@PurpleLeavesRed)

    Happy I found you today through YeahWrite 🙂 I want to spend more time reading your story. In the meantime, I wanted to say that I agree! “Meant to be” is like glue; you don’t want it on your feet, in your eyes and you certainly shouldn’t inhale.
    Looking forward to reading more ….

  11. Ado

    Deep thoughts, deep questions.
    I’m going through a cycle in my marriage where we are also asking each other these questions – but one of the things I’m fond of saying is, “Why is sometimes not a helpful question.” Sometimes instead of asking myself why or what if I just – well, I just do the next thing on my To – Do list.
    Loved this post and now the rubber-necker in me wants to go and read about your car accident…

    1. heidi Post author

      Now you’ve got me thinking… I am going to hang on to “Why is sometimes not a helpful question.” How true.
      Marriage can be hard. I know it’s not a profound statement, but it can be. It’s all up and down and in-between. What I aim for/look for is those sweet spots in the midst of the all-over-the-place. Those times when it makes all the crazy worthwhile. 🙂
      You are no rubber-necker…it’s all over my site. So, it’s a big free-for-all! 🙂

  12. Christie

    This is a wonderful post. I have always thought that there isn’t necessarily one person that we are destined for, but rather that we choose to make each other “the one” through our intentional actions, commitments, kindnesses, etc. I love these statements: “I believe in mystery and the unexplainable, in magic and God. And I believe in choices. I choose commitment, marriage, love.” I could not agree more. Love reading your stuff, just followed you.

    1. heidi Post author

      I know we’ve already talked about it over at Studio30, but, yes, I agree. It has certainly brought us together and cemented our relationship in many ways.

  13. Greta

    I agree. If we don’t choose to nurture a relationship, a marriage, and keep it healthy, and help it grow, it won’t.

  14. Lance

    Can I believe in both?

    4 years ago I stopped believing in cynicism, hurt, co-dependency, and failure. I chose to let my now wife and two others children in my life. I also fell head over damn heels for my wife. Immediately. As in no one else existed but her.

    I think you and your husband are meant to be together. He knew you before the crash, and knew you after. Mostly, you seem to love him despite the challenges you faced.

    Thank you for letting me read this.

  15. Julie

    I think you can look back and say “meant to be,” but looking forward all you can do is decide “gonna be.”

    Beautiful piece. Scott must be honored.

  16. Susan

    i find this to be so completely on – i think so much is a choice, and actually marriage taught me that you have to make a choice to be happy, that we have control over that to a large degree, but we have to choose it to make it happen. speaking of which, it makes me very happy to hear the real, wonderful things that make your marriage so special and strong. best -s

  17. JennyB

    GREAT post.
    Funny, I just said to someone last week that I think Jordan and I are “meant to be”. But the most important thing in that is that I always felt (and feel) that is was our choice to make. That’s huge.

    Loved the way you wrote this. 🙂

    1. heidi

      Jenny! I think there is some ‘meant to be-ness’. I do. It’s just so important to me that I live this stuff out and not coast on soul-mate, you know?
      Thank you, my friend.

  18. Louise Ducote

    I didn’t believe in “meant to be” until I met my husband. . .but that story is too long for a comment. You and Scott are blessed to have each other; wonderful post.

    1. heidi

      Louise, I hope I get to hear that story. Like I said to my friend Jenn just above you here in comments I believe in some ‘meant to be’. I believe in both magic and reality.
      I’m not kidding, by the way. I would love to hear your story. 🙂

  19. christy

    So lovely Heidi. I believe in choices too. I just love that you’re posting so frequently now – yours are always my favorites!

  20. Julia

    Your words are always so inspiring. I love your take on marriage. I think that marriage has been one of the most difficult things to navigate in my life, and you are so right, it is a choice, every day.

    1. heidi

      Thank you so much, Julia. Right back at you – your words are so inspiring. And lovely.
      I said to Scott this morning I could write a whole book on this marriage gig. 😉

  21. Miranda

    I agree with what you’ve said here. While I know some would disagree, I don’t believe in “the one.” I definitely believe that one person may be better suited for you than another, but your entire life’s happiness won’t be ruined of you choose the other. Like you said, it’s about everyday choices. Great piece.

    1. heidi

      I’ve always thought that too. What if you missed ‘the one’? Then what? I think there could be another ‘one’. 🙂
      Thank you, Miranda. Love that name, by the way.

  22. Loraleigh

    “I believe in mystery and the unexplainable, in magic and God. And I believe in choices. I choose commitment, marriage, love.”

    I love this! It reads like an apostles creed. It made me think, “Oh yeah, that’s it, that’s exactly it!” You know, in this world where there are no more absolutes, and truth is just a fuzzy grey it’s words like this that give me hope. These are words to hang on, they zoom me right back to the center….incredible. This post and Ado’s comment about how “why?” is not always a helpful question reminds me of this great little duo I stumbled on. I’ve been moved by their music lately
    Great post Heidi.

    1. heidi

      I dreamed I moved to Winnipeg last night. What is that about?? I don’t know that anyone could make me move there, even you, as much as I love you. I miss you tons.
      Thank you for, well, everything.

      1. loraleigh

        Oh dear! That’s not a good dream….can you even call it a dream??? It sounds more like sleep torture to me!

  23. Beej

    I’m not sure I believe in predestination, but I do believe in some sort of “spiritual attraction.” I believe that we are more than our bodies, and whatever that more is resonates with the more of whatever other people are in particular ways, and at particular times. I’m so glad you and Scott found eachother when you did – that was some big resonance right there!

  24. Sarcasm Goddess

    You are so right about it being a choice. Marriage isn’t always sunshine and roses. We make the choice to either stick it out and fight for it, or walk away.

    1. heidi

      You’re right, it has to be about more than sunshine and roses, although I wouldn’t mind more sunshine and roses.;) Definitely to sticktoit-iveness and fighting for it, and to know when to walk away.

  25. Nikki Rules

    Maybe the “meant to be” can also be worded as “has to be”. My guy and I? It’s a has to be. As in I have to be with him, wouldn’t want my life any other way (for now… and for the past 9 years that’s how it’s been. We’ll see) Nice to see other people finding their resting place. And what a nice way to put it!

  26. Jennifer

    Oh, wow, how I love this so much. I agree that marriage is a choice you make every single day. It’s a choice to stay, to be better for someone else, to be better for yourself. Your husband is so lucky to have you, and you him. (And me you!) XO

    1. heidi

      Thank you, Jennifer! Did I tell you I missed you?? Oh yes, I did. I tweeted it to the world! Okay, just under 300 people. Whatevs. 🙂 xo

  27. Jessica

    What an amazing post. I feel so much of the same. My husband and I have been through more than our fair share of struggles and have some how made it but it is so true we are together not because we were “meant to be” but because we have worked hard to make this work.

    1. heidi

      Hi Jessica! Thank you for sharing this. Us too – in regard to struggle and putting in some serious effort at times. I’m so glad you’ve been able to make it work. 🙂

  28. Sarah Reinhart @littlewhitewhale

    I think my favorite part of all of this is how you said you believe in choices. ME TOO. And “meant to be” can be dangerous. Also agree with you there. My husband and I have gone through highs and lows, peaks and valleys, four kiddos one right after the other–it’s all part of the road. We CHOOSE to go it together because that’s what both of us wants. I’m not always madly in love with him and he knows it and I don’t expect him to be with me either. That’s just a natural part of partnership I suppose. Thanks for getting me thinking about all this Heidi!

    1. heidi

      Hi Sarah, I’m nodding along with your words here. We have been all over the place too and at times I wondered if we would make it. And there it was…choice. Could I keep doing this, did I want to keep doing this…and here we are. We made choices with our eyes wide open, talking all the while, and I’m happy to say our marriage is good, maybe in the best place it’s been since we said ‘I do’.
      Thank you for your thoughts. You’ve got me thinking!

    1. heidi

      Thank you, Galit. Yes, romance too. Scott and I are best friends. We really are, but we could always use more romance in our lives. The little things can mean so much.

    1. heidi

      A bit of both for sure. 🙂 I’m glad you have that. I need to make more room for magic. My practical, bossy side likes to take over. Thank you, Alison.

  29. Aubrey Anne

    He is my “resting place” just might be the sweetest, most foreign thing I have ever heard. That’s what a fairy tale is, if you ask me. This post is perfect for me this week, thank you.

    1. heidi

      Aubrey, I love this…”that’s what a fairy tale is, if you ask me.” I hadn’t thought of it that way and now I will, thanks to you. Your comment is perfect for me this week. 🙂

  30. Caroline

    I LOVE reading posts like this – it reminds us of the hope we can have in marriage also. I’ve been married for 14 yrs, and some of them have not been easy, but I look back and see how strong we are now, and wonder how I could have thought it was maybe worth giving up. Marriage needs love – but love can be spontaneous, as well as a choice. We just want spontaneity all the time, don’t we!

  31. Runnermom-jen

    Soul mates, and destiny, and I am a HOPELESS romantic, so I do believe in all that crap…but I love your viewpoint on CHOOSING to be with each other every day.

  32. Youngman Brown

    I’m gonna put salt on the steps of this really pretty woman’s house and see if she will marry me.

    I guess I’ve gotta wait until next winter, though.

  33. Kate Coveny Hood

    I’d love to talk about this in NYC. I have a lot of thoughts about “meant to be.” but I really like your perspective on how this romantic notion actually takes away from our freedom of choice. Choosing each other every day is just as romantic and MUCH more empowering.

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