We were holding hands in the movie theater, billing and cooing like two courting parakeets, or the newlyweds that we were. A newly released film was playing on the big screen. La Dolce Vita would receive the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award at the Cannes Film Festival later that year (1960). Entertainment Weekly voted it “the sixth Greatest film of all time.”
The screening wasn’t twenty minutes old when we exited the theater. To this day we have never seen the rest of that great movie.
When either of us says “La Dolce Vita,” it is code speak for “let’s make sure we are not making a mistake.”
Incorrectly thinking the other wasn’t enjoying the “speaking captioned” movie, we left the theater.
Afterward, sipping coke floats, there wasn’t anything to do but laugh and profit from one of life’s lessons. We agreed we needed to communicate a whole lot better to keep our marriage sailing on an even keel.
We had already learned we really didn’t know each other very well.
After a quick honeymoon and the first night in our apartment, I was anticipating a good breakfast before going to work. Mother had always fixed one. But, breakfast wasn’t happening. My wife was wondering about bacon and eggs also. Her Dad fixed breakfast in their family. Who knew?
“Honey, can we talk about this?”
We had been married less than a year when our preacher said from the pulpit, “Families need to pray together.” Although I was a Christian I was a “rookie” when it came to praying. I knew in my heart the preacher was right.
As part of a new family of two I felt compelled to be obedient. This was something we should do – the preacher said it was. I was determined to try.
The commitment to share personal thoughts out loud talking to God made me extremely uncomfortable. I am a private person. Asking my lovely wife to pray with me before we went to bed that night was one of the hardest things I have ever done.
Even so we knelt down on different sides of our bed. Reaching across we held hands and said our first audible prayers together. I managed to do it. What victory! Prayer opens heaven’s door.
Praying together every day became precious. For me, it gives credence to the statement: families that pray together stay together.
This year we celebrated our 50th Wedding Anniversary. La Dolce Vita, meaning “the sweet life,” is still playing.
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