How beautifully fragile are we?

Although it happened over a short stretch of time, Dan and I fell in love slowly. While hiking wilderness trails and browsing through hardware stores and cruising on his motorcycle and eating food truck cuisine and volunteering with the shower truck and trekking through soft powder on snowshoes and eating ginger spice cookies from the Old Mill District.



Hardware stores, second-hand shops, and garden centers—our favorite places to shop
Firepits and food truck cuisine
Ginger spice cookies

And the trajectory of my life was changed for forever.

This thought from Samuel Decker Thompson:

We are all just a car crash, a diagnosis, an unexpected phone call, a newfound love, or a broken heart away from becoming a completely different person. How beautifully fragile are we that so many things can take but a moment to alter who we are for forever?

There were no unpleasant surprises after Dan and I exchanged wedding vows and drove away pulling the honeymoon carriage.

We’ve been married almost eight months now, and Dan and I still marvel at how seamless it was to slip into marriage—as if we’d known each other a long time.

Perhaps being open and vulnerable in our conversations while we were dating was a factor in the transition.

We talked.

We admitted the things we took for granted (but certainly never meant to) in our first marriages.

We shared how we managed the grief of losing spouses.

We discussed expectations and what we hoped to accomplish with our remaining days together on earth – something a younger couple might not consider given the number of years most young couples believe they have to live.

Ann Voskamp wrote:

There are women who can’t remember the last time they were held, the last time they were pulled in close to another beating heart, so they didn’t feel alone.

All the simple pleasures of my life are so much sweeter for having been widowed five years. Five years without strong arms to pull me in close, without a man to cook for, without the pleasure of crawling into bed next to a warm body and the privilege of sharing a house and home with a husband and best friend and partner in crime.

My very wise (handsome, smart, funny) husband noted this:

After the loss of love when you start to regain it, you appreciate it so much more. Something that had once been fulfilling is now growing again.

Why is it that we humans have to lose something in order to appreciate its full value?

If I were one moment away from being changed for forever—the car crash, the diagnosis, the broken heart—what would I miss most? It’s the items on that list I want to speak gratitude for today.


Can new purpose be found?


What would you do if you weren’t afraid?


  1. Lonnie

    Love that, Marlys! If only we could come to that place without having to lose so much to get there.

  2. Pat

    Love reading the new LOVE story you two are sharing.

    Hugs from CA

  3. Nasus

    Marlys and Dan, your pictures just warm my heart! I am so thankful that God brought you two precious people together! Marlys, thank you for the wise words from your loving heart! Love you two!!

  4. God has been reminding me over and over to not take things for granted. My modem died and I realized how important the internet was to me. My left hip degenerated so I couldn’t walk. I just got it replaced, and I will never take walking for granted. And on and on. A spirit of Thanksgiving EVERY day.

  5. My mom had a plaque posted in our dining room: “We git too soon olde and too late schmart.” How true!!

  6. Thank you Marlys, this really rings true for Jeanette and me.

    • Jim, I want to pay attention to and speak gratitude for the good things in my life – and there are so many – while I still have them.

  7. sally slick

    Beautiful words, beautiful pictures, and two truly beautiful people in so many ways!

  8. Allison McCormick

    Marlys, this is so beautifully written! I loved the question, “Why is it that we humans have to lose something in order to appreciate its full value?” So true. I think loss gives us clarity and renewed appreciation. Thank you for sharing your story and challenging us to take time to see what we have in a fresh new way.

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