How Marriage Lasts

I visit an elderly gentleman client once a month to care for his feet and nails. 
It is a service that evokes deep calm and gratitude in my life 
as I sit at the feet of someone who has walked many many years 
and offer my time and presence. 
This particular client is a joy - 
as he meets life with intentional effort and reverence. 
He always fills our time with stories of his life 
and speaks of his deepest gratitudes for having been blessed with a long life 
of hard work, travel and joy, his love of music, 
a family that treats him with caring respect, and a long happy marriage. 
He is almost 99, and he was married for 72 years. 
72 years.... 
She just passed away over the summer. 
He still reaches for her at night. 
Of course he does. 
72 years...
The other day as I made my monthly visit, 
he told me what he thought was the secret to a lasting, happy marriage.
  Passion blooms. original mandala.

He said it is not always easy.
He said you don't always agree.
He said the secret is simple.

He said, "it takes a lot of giving of yourself, but if you give a lot,
the other person will give a lot, too.

And it takes a lot of cuddling."