Little things that count after 40 years of marriage

Sometimes here at BoomerCafé we receive stories, unsolicited, from baby boomers who want to tell us something about their lives. That’s what this is, a charming little slice of life from Judi Schram of Delray Beach, Florida. But it’s not just her life; if we follow her advice, it could be ours too. And as you’ll see, it sure didn’t happen in Delray Beach. No, it was during a trip this winter back to her home town, Detroit.

This year is a landmark year for my husband and me. We are celebrating our 40th anniversary as well as our 65th birthdays. People (most notably our three kids) often ask us the secret to our marital longevity.


Judi and Brad Schram

Well, we have all heard the saying “It’s the little things that count.” Although somewhat trite, I believe there is a world of wisdom in this adage and that it conveys an important element in building and sustaining a successful relationship. The following vignette from our lives embodies this concept.

Although my husband is a most generous man and is known to buy me presents, the other evening he did something much more mundane that filled my heart with a warmth that combatted the freezing temperatures assaulting my city.

He filled my car with gas.

Let me back step a bit to augment the story. Earlier in the day, he had already filled two other cars with gas … his own and his mom’s. Filling a gas tank while the frigid air envelopes you is a tortuous task (even gloves prove insufficient against the metal fuel pump handle).


Brad Schram, a good husband.

Later that same day, he was behind the wheel of my car as we were returning from dinner with friends. It was nightfall, and to add insult to injury, the temperatures were plummeting. He commented that my car was nearly out of gas and that I should stop first thing the following morning to rectify the situation. I agreed, hiding my distasteful reaction to the prospect of this endeavor.

Suddenly, he swerved to the right and approached a gas station. Without a word, he opened the door and braved the cold gust of wind.

After he completed the deed, then re-entered the car and buckled up, I turned to him and said “Thank you so much.” That was all.

But the glow of that gesture will keep me warm for a very long time. It’s the little things that count.

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