Intimate Conversation with Kristine Carlson
Con’t from Part One
When Richard Carlson passed away, he was only 4 years older than Keith. And when Kristine (affectionately known as Kris) became a widow, she was only 7 years older than I am now. Sitting in the chair where Richard used to sit, interviewing his young widow, I was reminded of the frailty of life and how tomorrow is never promised. We talked about the many characteristics of their marriage that made it so extraordinary.
Similar to Keith and me, and so many other happily married couples I’ve interviewed, Kris and Richard began each morning with one-on-one time together. They talked often and about everything. She recalled a time when they hit a speed bump in their marriage, “We were so busy and fragmented our connection was off.” Like many new parents, the transition into parenthood wasn’t as smooth as they would have liked. And there came a day when that changed warranted a real heart-to-heart.
Out of all the chairs in the house, “we were seated at the little kids table.” And considering Richard was 6’4″ and 195 lbs, that was a whole lotta man for such a tiny chair. But it was in this small place they had what Kris described as “a really pivotal conversation in our marriage.”
During that discussion, Richard said something that would have made most women upset. Kris didn’t agree but she purposed to listen. ”I remember saying to myself, ‘You know what, Kris? You’d better listen at a deeper level. You better listen to the feeling behind what he’s saying right now and don’t listen to the content. Don’t make this about what he’s saying. Listen to the frustration. Just breathe; don’t react. Just listen.’”
In doing that, she was able to hear the hurt in his voice and the disappointment in his heart. Even though she didn’t agree with much of what he said, that didn’t matter, she surmised. It wasn’t about her in that moment. The only thing that mattered was her heart being open to hear what his heart was pouring out. She remembers being able to respond to him from this overwhelming place of love.
From that day forward, she determined she would always listen heart-to-heart. She would make sure her heart remained open to his and would never allow momentary disagreements to close it. And the day he passed away, living only half the life she’d hoped, she was at peace knowing she loved him more than anything else in this world and expressed that in her words and action every single day. And he did the same.
Not only was I reminded throughout my time that life is but a vapor, I was challenged to always keep my heart open and as her husband taught us all, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff…and it’s all small stuff.
Until tomorrow…make it a great day!
Why I Love My Husband (the never-ending list):
61. He accompanied me to this interview with Kristine Carlson, when there were so many other things he could be doing, and he took away as many life lessons as I did (and was happy he went).
62. He never stops learning. He strives to be a student of life rather than a teacher.
63. He epitomizes the Warren Buffet quote, “When people tell me they’ve learned from experience, I tell them the trick is to learn from other people’s experience.”
64. He can’t wait to be a father. But still patiently awaits my body’s acceptance of this fact.
65. He hates talking on the telephone…and yet looks forward to our calls throughout each day…no matter where in the world either of us might be.
Join me in creating your own Why I Love My Husband list and if you’re a blogger, join me here tomorrow for our very first Link Up Party! Just begin your own WILMH list and then link it up.
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