“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” Revelation 21:4
I found a small leather journal in a cabinet with Acadia National Park stamped on the front cover. I opened it and found it to be a diary in which Kim journaled about our twentieth anniversary trip back to Bar Harbor, Maine. We honeymooned in Maine in 1983; in 2003, we finally returned. Returning had been a dream since our honeymoon.
Memories flooded over my heart and mind as I recalled our favorite trip ever. And there was a lesson that week worthy of passing on from Mr. Robinson.
I remembered this trip to be among our favorite trips. And reliving the week through Kim’s journal convinced me that she felt the same way. She wrote from a delighted heart as she chronicled our day-by-day activities.
We visited with her brother’s family at their lake house on the way from Richmond to Atlanta where we put our children on an unaccompanied flight to stay with Kim’s parents—I had forgotten about that detail. We stayed with her cousin’s family in Atlanta as we made our way on our trip. We flew to Bangor, Maine and drove to Ogunquit for one night. A stop on the way allowed us to shop at L.L.Bean. I had also forgotten about the free back massages being offered at L.L.Bean that day! Then a romantic start to our anniversary trip in the quaint village of Ogunquit. We stayed on Perkins Cove in a cottage made available to missionaries.
The next morning, we drove north toward Bar Harbor which gave us the privilege of stopping at Kennebunkport, Maine, the home of George Bush, Sr. After a few stops along the way, we arrived at our room at Cleftstone Manor. It was a beautiful room in our bed and breakfast accommodation, which Kim described as “the best (and most expensive) room called the Cleftstone Room.” The manor was built in 1881.
Kim described every meal that week in detail. Breakfasts. Lunches. Dinners.
Our first full day included a visit to Acadia National Park where we took a guided tour. Kim described the sky as “cobalt blue with a few puffy white clouds.” She chronicled every stop and every sight we saw—especially the blueberries on the trails of our many hikes. She wrote several pages about the blueberries. One of our favorite places we experienced was Jordan Pond House—tea, popovers, and strawberry jam. We drove up Cadillac Mountain, over to Northeast Harbor, and then stopped at The Docksider Restaurant—more about that beautiful experience in a moment.
“Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun…” Ecclesiastes 9:9
The next day we took a cruise where we saw humpback whales. One breeched. What a sight! That night we took a carriage ride at sunset. Imagine my laughter as I read about us being in the front seat when the horses “passed wind.” She wrote about sitting by the fireplace in our room where we enjoyed reading and writing about the day. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I read, “…we couldn’t have had a more glorious day.”
The next day was our anniversary. We did some shopping and dropped by Llangolan Inn where we had honeymooned twenty years before. We took a picture at cabin number seven, our cabin. We ended that day at an evening concert under the stars by the local Bar Harbor orchestra in Blackwoods Park.
Our last day included a foray on a four-sail windjammer where we enjoyed seeing wildlife before we ate at Café This Way in Bar Harbor. We ended our anniversary trip that night at a local theater where we enjoyed a play, “I Do, I Do.”
I know, perfect.
“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.” Proverbs 18:22
Back to The Docksider Restaurant for a moment. Sitting near us was an elderly man who was sitting quietly by himself. Kim’s heart was touched, and she suggested we invite him to join us. Finally, I acquiesced. He declined my invitation at first but then got up a few minutes later and said, “Why not.” We learned that his name was Mr. Robinson and that he had lost his wife the year before. Through tears, Mr. Robinson told us his story.
And his story was a twentieth anniversary gift I will never forget.
He looked at me at one point, pointed toward Kim, and with great emotion moaned, “She’s your precious!” To be honest, I always knew what a gift it was to be married to Kim. Honestly, marriage is a gift. By the goodness of God, I had that message reinforced that evening. I never forgot his tears, his quivering voice, or his words.
“She’s your precious.” Mr. Robinson
Indeed, Mr. Robinson, I knew you were right then; I fully understood your statement just over fifteen years later when I joined you on the journey of loss. I get it.
Men, your wife is precious. Cherish her.
“An excellent wife who can find? She is far more precious than jewels.” Proverbs 31:10
Note: As of the release of this entry, I am four months into my marriage to Amanda. And I recognize how precious she is to me; I’ve repeatedly told her she is a gift and a treasure.