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~  2 Eye of the Beholder  ~   3 Possession  ~   4 Red Wool   ~  5 Adalia  ~  6 The Couch  ~  7 Rocks and Foundations

~ 8 Mistletoe ~ 9 TipToe ~ 10 Columbus (age 9 )  ~  11 Tara (Unfinished) 


The Couch
by Marsha Steed

My husband turns forty today.  It has not always been a smooth road, and along it, there have been bumps and bruises in the aerobics of  finding a celestial union. This year had been particularly challenging. I had struggled with this birthday, as had he.  Along with the usual reassessments and looking back through a life already lived, there were the difficulties of the moment that clamored for a piece of my attention.  Raising four children perhaps was not a lot by the church's standard, but by the worlds, it was demanding enough.

I know that he struggles with the failings and the imperfections as much as I.  It was difficult to look beyond what was wrong, to see what was important.

As I was struggling with what to get him, or do for him for this commemoration, I reflected on what he had done for me this past year.  As always, his gifts remained thoughtful and personal, even through our dark times.  Just last month, for our 18th anniversary, he had made it possible to gift me with a new couch.  Something I had wanted for a few years, seeing as this one was one we had had since the first year of our marriage.

Reflecting on that, I remembered the last time we shopped for couches. The memories from there began to flood.  Suddenly, I was a new bride, and feeling all the wonder and excitement of setting up housekeeping for the first time.  My mind drifted past the current beautiful soft stylish couch to another one, long ago.

We had little then, as most newly marrieds, and chose to visit Deseret Industries for some of our decor.  I can still see it.  It was an aqua and green stripped couch.  It was in good condition, except for the fact that it was somewhat dirty.  We found the 100$ that it cost, and made our first major purchase.  So proud were we to bring it home.  So thrilled was I to form the decoration of our first apartment around the colors.

The only challenge, was the soiled cushions.  Thinking that I would be frugal, I took off each cushion cover,  and went out to the jumbo washing machines.  In they went.  When they came out, I was thrilled, they had washed up beautifully.  I tossed them in the dryer, and anxiously finished up other projects while they dried.  Much to my chagrin, when I went to take them out...they were a melted mess of fabric and plastic.  They had been lined!

What was a new bride to do?  I was crestfallen. Braving the judgment of being a hapless wife, I called my new husband with the teary news.  He was kind, and reassured me that all would be well.  I was mortified.  Not only had my intelligence been questionable, my housekeeping skills as well seemed substandard.  I took a twin sheet, and the best I could, covered up the cushions. It did not look horrible, but, it was far from what we had wished.

When my husband finally came home to a still teary eyed and repentant wife, he sealed my heart his for an eternity.  There in his arms was a huge bouquet of flowers, upon his face, a smile, and on his lips the words that I have taken succor from a thousand times since.  "It will be all right dear.  I love you".
No words of condensation, no reproof.  Not a lesson in housekeeping or a mention of my failings.  Simply a smile, a balm for my wounds, and reassurance that I was more important than anything I did.

I remembered that look as if it were yesterday.  Suddenly all the misplaced words, the chill communications and the misunderstandings paled.  Just as then, I could feel his words heal me, and his sky-blue eyes love me.  It would indeed, 'be all right".

So also can I look to my Father in Heaven, when all that I have tried to do here fails and ends up 'melted masses of threads and plastic'.  I can take comfort from the hope that all shall indeed, 'be all right'.

Marsha Steed. 


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