A Grilled Cheese Love Story

by lizclark on November 6, 2013

holding handsSometimes, the saddest days are followed by the very best, amazing days.

In my last post, I shared a personal experience that taught me to focus on that which matters most.

That tragedy happened on November 5th.  Each year, that date looms on the calendar and I dread it.

But, in a strange and beautiful coincidence, one of the darkest days on my family’s calendar is followed by one of the happiest.

November 6th is a happy day.

It’s my wedding anniversary.  The day that I celebrate being married to my best friend.

My husband is an incredible man.  He was the first person to ever prove me wrong (I love that about him).  I’ll never forget the first time he did it:

One night, in the early years, he decided to “help” me make dinner.  Grilled cheese and tomato soup.

I always made grilled cheese by buttering the bread and then placing the bread it in the skillet.  Cheese and another slice of buttered bread went on top – flip – done.

Never had any complaints.

The problem was the butter.  If we had soft, spreadable butter, it was easy.  But trying to spread butter right out of the fridge was awful.  The bread looked like it had survived a warzone by the time I got done shredding…er…buttering it.

So my happy husband decided to make grilled cheese.  He got everything out, and then reached for a knife.  But he did not butter the bread.  He put a pat of butter directly into the skillet instead.

“What are you doing?” I asked quickly.  ”You have to butter the bread.”

With a twinkle in his eye that I cherish more than any work-of-art, he said softly, “Why do I have to butter the bread?”

He kept smiling and glancing up at me as he placed the bread into the pan of melted butter and moved it around slowly to absorb the buttery goodness.

I continued to protest, telling him how the bread would be soggy and that he was ruining the sandwiches.  But, I was smiling a little, too.  And he just kept making sandwich after sandwich.  The right way.

GrilledCheese

And they were the best grilled cheese sandwiches I ever had.

It was the very best way to stand up to me and my need for bread-buttering control.  He didn’t back down.  He didn’t criticize me or tell me all the reasons I was wrong.  He just asked a simple question that challenged me….and quietly delivered perfect grilled cheese sandwiches.

We don’t have a perfect marriage.  I am not a perfect wife.  I struggle with attentiveness.  I’ve been critical and distant.  I regret every moment I’ve wasted moping, over-analyzing and not simply enjoying the moment.  The reminder I experience every November 5th is like a gift.  It resets my focus and reminds me to see what matters most.  And with that fresh vision, I get to “see” my handsome husband – that twinkle in his eye, his quiet persistence, his brilliant mind that somehow manages to challenge me to be better while also embracing me exactly where I stand (imperfections glaring).  

Through tragedy, I gain the gift of perspective.  I let go of “control” and embrace real life.  I gain the ability to see and appreciate my life and marriage for what it really is – a beautiful love story.  

liz and scott

Today, worry less about being in control.  Take time to intentionally learn from those around you who might do things differently.  That might be your spouse, your kids, your boss, your co-workers (or your “enemies”).  Taking time to slow down and accept a fresh perspective is a true gift.  Don’t wait for tragedy to lend you clarity.  Use mine if you can.  I’d love to hear from you how a fresh perspective helps you move forward in life.

And, if you’d like to share this grilled cheese love story, please do so.  From our heart to yours, embrace life!

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

AliciaC November 6, 2013 at 7:12 AM

Who has whom tearing up now? lol I love a good love story! Grilled Cheese and all!

You are an incredible woman, mother and wife…I’ve witnessed it, I know! You want whats best for everyone and help them to see it, from a different perspective. You have challenged me numerous times to look at things a little differently than I my small mind was seeing it. YOU have been my “fresh perspective”….thank you!

It’s been me learning from you and to think you came into my life to learn from me…pah, God, He’s good like that.

Happy anniversary to you and Mr. Scott- love you both very much, beyond grateful for so so much!

Love- Leesh

Ps- the picture in this post needs to be framed in your house, it’s beautiful!!

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lizclark November 6, 2013 at 7:11 PM

Thank you, Leesh!!! YOU are such a blessing to me in so many ways. I’m thankful God brought us together like he did – as you take amazing steps forward I’m cheering you every step of the way. Don’t EVER forget how much God loves you, just as you are, and how he is working all things together for your good. Thank you for your encouragement and love, my sweet friend. OH, and…. 7-8-9! :)

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David Mike November 6, 2013 at 7:42 AM

In our first year of marriage we had the proverbial toilet paper roll going the right way and the where you squeeze the toothpaste discussions. 15 years later we are a strong team and I have learned so much from my wife. I was a military kid and had no roots, she lived in the same town her whole life. I have learned what it means to be a husband, father and family from her. We compromise but for the better. Thanks for sharing!

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lizclark November 6, 2013 at 7:13 PM

David, that’s so true! Thanks for your comment and for your support – and congratulations on 15 years of marriage – we’ll be there next year! Blessings!

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Anita@ Losing Austin November 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Oh how I love this- happy anniversary.

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lizclark November 6, 2013 at 7:13 PM

Thank you, Anita!! Blessings!

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Rick Theule November 6, 2013 at 1:21 PM

This! Thanks Liz.
“He didn’t criticize me or tell me all the reasons I was wrong.”

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lizclark November 6, 2013 at 7:14 PM

Thank YOU, Rick Toolie! :)

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Whitney November 7, 2013 at 1:15 AM

I love this story. I will never forget the two of you telling me about it and the amazingly big smiles on your faces as you did. It was some pretty hilarious stuff. I know this really touches base with me as I definitely struggle with control. Happy late anniversary and many more grilled cheeses to you and Scott!

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lizclark November 8, 2013 at 12:10 AM

Thank you, Whitney! Love you and miss you so much! xoxoxo :)

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April Best November 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

oh, I want to try and make a grilled cheese that way!

sounds like you got a good man…when I think of the guy I would want (if that day comes) this is a trait I would like :)

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lizclark November 18, 2013 at 8:31 PM

Thank you, April! He is a good man! Good luck on your grilled cheese!

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