The Kiss

Over the last few weeks I had fought off a bad cold (maybe influenza) that has caused me to have to stay away from Tara. We couldn’t risk her weak immune system. I have felt like a leper in my own home, avoiding contact of any form with the woman I love. We have missed the intimacy of a kiss for 18 days, by far the longest we have ever gone since we were married. I have to imagine that over 19 and a half years we probably kissed 8 times per day, averaging the days we have been a part with the days we couldn’t stop kissing. That is about 57,900 kisses in a row, ending 18 days ago.

That’s our old record. The new record started today. The kisses today were different though. These were first kisses of sorts. Tingly to my toes kisses. But kisses with no expectation of more. These were enough for now. Before today, I only imagined kissing Tara like this when we are 80 years old. I didn’t look forward to that as much as I do now. I imagined it more stale, as a duty to her out of respect for the years we had been together. But now I understand more and I long for those days of too. Yes, deep respect, but overwhelming love and intimacy.

I long to be more intimate with Tara again. That’s about as much as I’ll say in a blog. But I can say that this is another way that God has blessed us. We are understanding love at deeper levels and now the kiss too is understood at a deeper level. I imagine we will understand even more as the weeks pass.

Thank you to those who have sent your locations to us. If you haven’t yet, please do. What an encouragement for Tara to hear all the places people are praying for her. Once we have all the pins in the map, we will take a picture and show you what we see.

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25 thoughts on “The Kiss

  1. Bob and Elaine, many of our Fairmont friends, my 87 year old cousin in Harrisonville, MO, my sister-in-law and her church friends from St. Joseph, MO plus many more who are also reading your blog from thier own homes since they first learned of Tara’s health needs and yours, as a family.

  2. Just found out about your battle about a week ago and have been thinking about you & praying for you & your family often. It brings a new perspective to my own life, how I treat others, and what’s really important. My own cousin has recently been diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and I have found comfort in “Perspectives from the Treetops”.

    It was wonderful to get to know you through MOTR this past fall. Please know you will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Sarah (&preston) Paul
    Chatfield, mn

  3. Mantorville,MN
    I know, that is so far away. Thought of you today as we were stuck inside because of the blowing snow. Dave use to give up shoveling in March because the snow was going to melt quickly anyway. This year we are not so sure about the timing on that. It may take a few more Mondays before we are done.
    Hope you enjoy your cuddle/kissing time this evening. Stay home, the roads are nasty.

  4. Hi to you – just wanting you to add SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA to your map of places where people are praying for your family and the needs of the past, the present and the future. I am a good friend of Nan and Larry, also of Aunt Barb & Gary, having grown up in Swea City, Iowa near where Nancy and Gary lived. I do understand all that you write about in this Perspective – the many up and down emotions, the fears and the hopes, but the bottom line being that no matter what, our God is not only right beside us through the journey, but is actually inside us through His Holy Spirit. And that Spirit is bringing requests to the very throne in Heaven where an Almighty God knows all that is going on and is allowing it, for whatever reason! On one occasion when I was hospitalized in Rochester, I remember someone telling me that others ‘watch’ when Christians are tested – they watch to see just how we will handle the trauma or the testing, or whatever other word you care to use. I remember being so ill and so tired that I just wanted to close my eyes and wake up in the very arms of my Savior. That’s when the prayers of others in the family of believers must ‘kicked in’ as I was just too weak to pray any more. Remember the Bible story about the 4 who brought their sick friend to Jesus, but couldn’t get near Him, so they cut a hole in the roof of the house and proceeded to lay their friend right at the feet of Jesus? I have been one who was ‘laid at the feet of Jesus’ by my friends and loved ones – what a feeling of humility and of gratitude! One can never repay those who have been so caring and so prayerful. But, what we can do is watch for opportunities to ‘love on others’ and help to bear their burdens, knowing that ‘this, too, shall pass. Mostly, I remember wanting so badly to live so I could return to my home and family. However, I also remember the feeling of peace that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I’m thankful to know that your family is leaning hard on our Creator as we all wait for better days to come to your household there in Rochester, MN. I’m loving you all and continue to join the army of prayer warriors, knowing that Because He Lives, you can face your ‘tomorrows’ Lovingly sent tonight from Carol (Franks) Olson, formerly of Swea CIty, IA, now of Sioux Falls, SD.

  5. I love that you never run out of meaningful material to write about! Ha! And we always are blessed to read it! I think what I enjoy the most is the vulnerable openness that can only be afforded by those who’s trust and reputation are in The Lord’s hands and you KNOW it! All of these things- cabin fever and kisses are a part of every day life and how this journey has caused you to see everything in such a brighter light! It will always be an honor to serve all of you by lifting you up in prayer daily and in all the moments that I think of you during the day. Stay warm and don’t blow away – it’s cozy at best to hear that wind whipping around. My other prayer (seriously) was that no shingles would fly off tonight. That’s so annoying!

  6. Tara, I am praying for you in Trabuco Canyon, CA….may God’s presence be incredibly real to you – like never before. XXOO Kim M.

  7. We know Tara’s folks…Larrry & Nan. We live in Wahpeton, IA but winter in Green Valley, AZ…so put GV on the map as have others here praying for Tara.Your blog and “your faith” bless us each day.
    Mike & Sherri Jones

  8. My husband Ryan and I know of your family through your missions pastor, Becky. We live in Chengdu, China and are now stateside. I believe my husband met you when you came to do some work at his parent’s house (the old Bamber Valley schoolhouse). Anyway, you can add that pin as we’ll pray for you there or to Dallas Texas where we are right now. We’re praying in both.
    In His loving arms, Amarilys & Ryan

  9. Well if you want to include prayers offered up while traveling, we prayed for you all over Israel. On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, in Bethlehem at the Church of the Nativity and in the Shepherd’s fields. In Jericho. In Jerusalem at Calvary rock and in the Garden Tomb and also on the River Jordan, where Jesus was baptised.

  10. HI Jay and Tara! I know that Gary sent in our Lee’s Summit, MO location, but I also wanted to add that in addition to our prayers for you from here, our children are praying for you in Bolivar, MO, and my parents (who don’t have a computer) are praying for you in Independence, MO. Love you both!!

  11. Your blogs encourage me each day. God has given you great insight and wisdom. I am praying for you and your family. I live in Williamsport pa.

  12. Hello Jay and Tara. We are very close friends of Tara’s parents. Tara has known Conny for many years. She was the former Conny Marsh. We live in Winnebago, MN. Ever since we have heard about Tara we have been praying for all of you. We read your comments daily and feel that they have drawn us closer to knowing your life and being able to share some of the load. God is truly great and we know He hears all prayers and we believe that He answers those prayers because He promised that. May you continue to draw strength from His word and know that there are many thoughts and prayers offered every day asking for God’s blessings and grace.

  13. We are praying for you in Bequia (pronounced “BECK-way”) in the country of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG). We’re here on our sailboat “Eagles’ Wings”, and we pray that God will carry you on eagles’ wings as we know He does us daily.

  14. Tara, Jay and kids,

    We love reading your blog daily to hear what you have all been up to. I love hearing that Tara is gaining more strength. You are all in our prayers!!

    From Brooklyn Park, MN – Cousin Melissa
    From Spencer, IA – Your Aunt Della (I’m not too sure she knows how to post but she really enjoys reading your updates, too)

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