Last Saturday, Ceecee and I were sharing a picnic in Forest Park in St. Louis.  It was a bit chilly, but we had blankets and an adventurous spirit, so we gave it a go.  We also had some really good stuff from Trader Joe’s and Global Foods, a specialty food store in one of the burbs, so we were looking forward to this picnic.

We found a spot by the water before the sun went down and began to unpack the picnic basket.  I had mentioned other such picnics we had shared over the years and we reminisced a bit over these.  I was telling her about these pictures that I often look at where it was a sunny day and she was lying there smiling.  Interestingly enough, that picnic was during our separation.

The very first time we visited St. Louis, we sat in the same park and shared a bottle of wine (probably illegal, I realize) and a European style lunch of fruit, bread, and cheese on the grass not far from the art museum.  Since Forest Park is larger than New York City’s Central Park, we have shared similar experiences in many different locations and don’t even remember where they were or how to get to them now.  There’s something very romantic about spreading a blanket and pulling a cork and sharing an intimate meal of finger foods and vino.

So back to us being separated.  Even when things were at their worst, St. Louis was the one thing we never let go of.  We still went once a month, and for that one day, it was almost as if we were still Brian And Ceecee.  We still had fun, and we still had picnics.

This past weekend, Ceecee said something about it being too bad we didn’t have cookies for the ride home.  She was referring to a special memory we share of buying a box of specialty cookies at Vitale’s Bakery on The Hill.  As we drove home, we opened the box to sample the different flavors.  By the time we got home, we had eaten the entire box.  Although we are normally too health conscious to do something like that, it was completely spontaneous and we laughed and shared and enjoyed every bit of that experience.

When she mentioned it, I immediately had the thought,” I wonder if that was before, during, or after our separation.”  For a time, shortly after we had gotten back together, I obsessed over time frames and what was happening when.  I’m not sure why I thought that mattered, but I was always trying to place events and memories in context of where our relationship had been at the time.

Almost as quickly as I had the thought, another took its place.  I told Ceecee what I had been thinking and then said, “I realized that it doesn’t matter.  It’s just always been us.”  She agreed, “A good memory is a good memory.”

The challenge is to apply that to everything.  It doesn’t matter how or when or why certain things happened.  What matters is to celebrate the good and let go of the rest.  Treasure the memories we want to keep, because they will be part of our legacy, and part of what makes our marriage ours and ours alone.

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