The Daily Star, Oneonta, NY - otsego county news, delaware county news, oneonta news, oneonta sports


August 11, 2012

Follow the manual to have a long, mostly happy life

My husband and I were in our late 30s when we were both sadly and tragically widowed. It was a page in our lives that we never wanted to repeat.

But now, 40-plus years later, we have to face the possible eventuality again. I guess everyone who gets to be elderly has to think about these things ... at least they should be prepared.

Looking back over those years _ informative years _ much we learned. The average person seldom has the opportunity to do so. Why would I say such a thing? Opportunity?

Does a horrible trauma in life have any positives? It really does as you will see.

Thus I can truthfully say that when you lose something or someone so very valuable and precious and then you are privileged and blessed to receive that again ... well ... your whole souled appreciation is so deepened to the point of never wanting any rift in that relationship. You are totally dedicated to smoothing out any and all situations that might cause any friction. (This can be done.)

Now, that statement could make a knowledgeable person smirk a bit for our lives today in this world are full of ups and downs. As said, "for better or for worse" but there are many wonderful times in a marriage, and then there's the other side of the coin: There are the "worse" statistics showing that more than 50 percent of marriages end in divorce.

Having gone through loss of a mate and the entire trauma that goes with it: That gives your life most serious concern. It gives a person more insight and understanding especially when having the opportunity of comforting someone else. There is a rapport, an emotional affinity. This complete feeling of compassion is something to be learned through experience.

I don't know how else to express this in human terms or know of any words to relate this with full understanding. It comes from the heart. You actually can touch another's saddened heart with tenderness and hope.

It was some 40-plus years ago when my now-hubby and I found ourselves without a helpmate and true companion: We both had young children that needed a balanced family life and we both needed true love back again.

Where can you find an outstanding individual that will meet all of your expectations? Age, interests, congeniality, humility, true love and unselfishness etc., etc., etc., plus hopefully those "starry eyed" feelings that we all dream about. Where?

Many well-meaning people have many suggestions but there was one successful answer that we both have carried on throughout our lives: The power of prayer and most importantly the adherence to Bible principles.

Perhaps that doesn't seem too important to the average reader, for there seems to be a church on every corner and there still are the statistics. The proof is in the pudding (as said).

I often think: When you make an important purchase there is a manufacturer's manual. If you read and comply with the instructions there is success ... if you don't ... well ... you know what will most likely happen.

Isn't life the most important "item" you possess? And we do have the manufacturer's (our Creator's) manual to go by for happiness, fulfillment, security and an important relationship with our God and his son.

What more can I say? Our lives have been full. My husband and I have been married for now more than 41 years. Our three children are on their own and doing all right. We are both active and busy with the important priorities of life. We do see the doctor from time to time, as older folks do and all is going fairly well at this point in time.

Elaine W. Kniskern is a 79-year-old resident of Schenevus and a grandmother of five. She can reached at 'Senior Scene' columns can be found at www.

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