Sunday, November 12, 2006

New Life

When I was a missionary in Taiwan, I was supervised by a "Mission President" and his wife. He was a professor of Asian studies at Brigham Young University. He spent much of his time in Mongolia doing research. He also served in his youth as a missionary in Japan. He is a man who is full of passion for China, and is what might be termed a "risk-taker". His wife was quite different, a very reserved woman. She also had health problems. When the temple in Taiwan was completed, he and his wife were assigned to be the president and matron of that temple. They served only about a year of their assigned time when she took ill and died. He, needless to say, was released from this position and went home. About a year later he remarried a woman who is a law professor at BYU. She is some years younger than him. I have been shocked to see how her youth has brought youth to him. It seems he gained 10 more years of life when he married her. In sharp contrast to his first marriage, he and his new wife have gone boating on the Amazon, and have traveled all over Asia. They also served in the BYU professor exchange program with China. They lived in a very small apartment and taught in a Chinese university for one year. They did this twice.
I have mentioned before that I had a friend who I visited every month who was mentally ill. Her husband stuck with her through thick and thin, but I could tell as time wore on that her illness was wearing on him. He began to have health problems that the doctor said were stress related. Her mental illness was so mentally taxing on him that he had to find ways to keep his own sanity. She died almost one year ago. This past summer he remarried a woman who is some years younger than him. Once again I have marveled at how her youthfulness has rejuvenated him! He seems to have so much more energy and life in him now.
I can't help but wonder if age really is only a state of mind. If we can some how capture the youthfulness and energy that these women brought to their marriages, I think we all would live longer, more fulfilled lives.

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