Tuesday, October 18, 2011

One More Life Lesson

Years ago my friend, Darla, told me about a story she read in the newspaper that provided a life lesson and carried a profound message for her marriage.

The police were called to the home of an elderly couple.  They found the wife sitting calmly in a rocking chair on the front porch, the husband dead on the floor inside the house.  If the narrative ended here it would just be one more elderly widow left to finish out her life alone, but there is more to the story.  After finding the body of the husband and the hammer that had been used to kill him, the officers questioned the widow. 

“Why did you do it?” they asked.

“For all the little things,” she replied.

“All the little things”…it makes you wonder how much it takes to be pushed over the edge.  How many years can the little irritations be tolerated?  How much can be overlooked and learned to be lived with?  How many years does it take to build up the frustration that will make you snap?

Darla and I joked about keeping a hammer in a glass case that we could break in case of emergency.  The spouse and I both occasionally will say “Where’s the hammer?” in a moment of frustration with each other.  The spouse and I celebrated our forty year anniversary in August; Darla and her husband have been married even longer.  I sporadically think about that elderly woman with the hammer and remind myself to let go of the little irritations. 
The universe has once again provided a life lesson.


  1. Yep, we have to not sweat the samall stuff. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but it is so important...

  2. We're only at 38 years but figuring things out along the way. One of our goals- to speak well of each other in front of others. Say one specific thing we like about the other to friends we meet. It causes us to look for the good.

  3. Blimey, it's just as well he didn't do a BIG thing earlier on in the marriage, don't you think??

    In truth, some people just aren't meant to be together, imagine livng with someone who constantly irritated you that much? What a waste of two lives.

  4. I see as we approach our 20th year of marriage how the little things to begin to irritate more and more. It is all about communication and laughing away those things at times.

    I would be a worried husband if that glass case was installed!!!

  5. Good reminder to let the little things go. I do get irritated with hubby, but it's only natural. We were born on different planets, after all. :-)

  6. I've learned not to take things personally wherever possible. And to remember the sweetheart things he does.

  7. After thirty-seven years of marriage I've finally come to realize that the best way to defuse an emotional bomb is to consider my wife's motives before getting angry. Usually my irritation comes from not understanding WHY she's doing something. But I realize now that she's always had my best interest at heart.

  8. A wonderful reminder! It's so often the accumulation of little things that can lead to a major crisis.


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