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Don’t Hope,… Decide!

While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.

Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.

For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?

“Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”

Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me.

I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

The man suddenly stopped smiling.

He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!”

– By Michael D. Hargrove and Bottom Line Underwriters, Inc.
Copyright 1997

{ 210 comments… add one }
  • Reena February 14, 2013, 11:52 pm

    Good one πŸ™‚

  • Chandu February 3, 2013, 9:14 am

    Very nice story

  • Ellen January 25, 2013, 9:32 am

    Very nice story! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚
    I hope my marriage is still that passionate or even more after 50, 60, 70 or 80 years! Amen.

  • Rupali January 23, 2013, 1:40 pm

    “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

    I loved this line … it meant a lot.. especially the usage of “Passionate”… beautiful articulation of feelings..

    Keep it up! πŸ™‚

  • Shail January 21, 2013, 12:11 pm

    I must say…..a very lovely and sweet story…..:)

  • Pankaj January 10, 2013, 7:09 am

    Nice story….

  • Ankita January 9, 2013, 12:39 am

    Hi! What a nice story it is, I like it very much!

  • Sweetu December 22, 2012, 2:05 am

    “Love” is a feeling stands in us till our last breath….too great..

  • Irfan December 18, 2012, 5:24 pm

    Great ….

  • Eseem December 13, 2012, 5:22 am

    Really great story, t touched my heart. Keep on posting such great stories.

  • Harsha December 3, 2012, 12:37 pm

    The writer must have seen my real life experience and wrote the story, so guys don’t hope just decide.

  • Rita Borg November 29, 2012, 10:37 pm

    This is the third time I read it. Each time it inspires me and keep me decide and do the best I can.

    I like #50 rise’s comment, it makes sense. That has been my problem hard to decide. Always hoping things will change. You have to work on being confident first and be self assure then decide and move on, and share your love.

    These morals stories are incredible. Thank you.

  • Coleman November 29, 2012, 8:30 pm

    I’m glad I chose to stop and read this. Very good brother!

    I love it when God speaks to you through life events like this.

  • Mosopefoluwa November 27, 2012, 5:55 pm

    Lovely one. I decide to have such by God’s grace.

  • Ashok November 21, 2012, 2:43 pm

    Superb story…….

  • Marvin November 20, 2012, 10:33 pm

    Yeah, I love it…… I hope all the couples will be like this..!!!!

  • An Optimist November 16, 2012, 6:44 am

    I still think without hope you can’t decide to have happiness. So the man shouldn’t have stopped the dreamer from hoping πŸ™‚

  • Rekha November 5, 2012, 4:13 am

    Wow!! fabulous story
    So finally I have decided that what I have to do in my life πŸ™‚
    not hoping

  • Deepthi October 29, 2012, 9:58 am

    I never had a loving husband.. Atleast I am happy to see a best pair ever .. and felt the warmth..

  • Khym Saxah October 25, 2012, 1:18 am

    I was touched by that constant love. Hit me totally hard, how I wish to have that genuine relationship. Not only wishing or hoping but it is in me to do for what I wanted to. Someday.

  • lalitha October 22, 2012, 11:59 pm

    Can it happen

  • Shubham Jaij October 21, 2012, 4:41 pm

    This story is fabulously interesting.

  • Hasan October 18, 2012, 9:47 am

    A story with a great moral.

  • Pooja October 18, 2012, 12:10 am

    This story is awesome… is touching heart, motivational and more.

  • Prapti Panigrahi October 17, 2012, 9:47 am

    A superb story. Motivational and moral!!!

  • Nitin Deepak October 11, 2012, 12:36 pm


  • Nazneen October 7, 2012, 1:50 am

    Really touching, beautiful and inspiring story for those who have forgotten to express their love in today’s speedy world.

  • Pooja Singh October 1, 2012, 11:17 am

    I like this story very much.

  • Abdul Rahman September 23, 2012, 8:10 am

    Very, very nice story…………….

  • Saranya September 22, 2012, 3:36 am


  • Dilip September 21, 2012, 2:19 pm

    Nice . . .

  • Sippy September 18, 2012, 11:31 am

    Nice !!! It’s good if we make decision to do our best, regardless of what the outcome would be even if it does not turn at times.

  • Kenchiz September 14, 2012, 8:42 am

    I love it, I have decided.

  • Gaurav September 10, 2012, 10:27 am

    Awesome story, I really want to be in this manner.

  • RiCh September 10, 2012, 3:03 am

    Hope to give my right decision for that kind of love..

  • Jerry Galor September 9, 2012, 11:20 am

    Great motivation for me!!!

  • Joel Dadivas Jr September 5, 2012, 7:44 pm

    I learned how to love family, friend, God because this story is very important to our life. If no love, there will be wars, battles etc!!!

  • Hritik Roshan September 5, 2012, 4:24 am

    Really great touching story…….

  • Caca September 3, 2012, 2:40 pm

    Wow πŸ™‚

  • Neha September 2, 2012, 10:53 am

    Very nice story

  • Sunny Deol September 1, 2012, 1:43 am

    Nice story

  • George August 31, 2012, 10:10 am

    Really nice story.. keep it up..

  • Sunny Leone August 29, 2012, 3:27 am

    Nice story!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jinal August 13, 2012, 10:58 am

    Wow.. a real true story… Just trust your love and show it…!!!

  • Darshna July 25, 2012, 5:03 am

    Nice story, but greatly been exhibited as one to keep his foot in others shoe…

    I loved it..

  • Malathi July 21, 2012, 12:18 am

    Truly inspirational.

    Relevant in every situation in life, be it love, making any difficult situation easy, achieving any of your goals w/o hoping but deciding to achieve.

    What a wonderful way to make your loved ones happy irrespective of their imperfections, just like in this story which would certainly make you happy as well or even making not-so-loved ones happy so that it will eventually transform them to be your loved ones.

    Way to go!

  • Sandra July 20, 2012, 9:54 pm

    This is such a great story. There is faith, hope, love but the greatest of these is love.

  • Jobin Joy July 13, 2012, 1:24 pm

    Hmmm… I decided to “decide” πŸ™‚

  • Haseena Taj July 6, 2012, 11:32 pm

    Stories are very nice and inspired some lessons in life.

  • Niranjana June 23, 2012, 8:39 am

    I’ve decided…..really nice story….

  • Joel S Das June 20, 2012, 1:52 am

    Thank you for such a well written article!

    “You must take care of love, otherwise it goes bad!” it was said by a 6-year old girl that appeared in the Reader’s Digest many years ago! I have been following this ‘mantra’ in our 36 years of married life and still going so crispy! It means the same – decide and act! How would you ‘take care of love’ is upon you, one has to be unique and industrious!

  • Priti Sharma June 18, 2012, 1:42 pm


  • Digvijay June 17, 2012, 9:01 am

    Nice story…from my side at this point i will say only one thing…
    Love is for everyone…that’s call life is
    L – Love
    I – Is
    F – For
    E – Everyone

  • Lala June 8, 2012, 7:11 am

    Go ahead………don’t take rest untill u achive ur dream.

  • Janice May 29, 2012, 10:56 pm

    The word will be a better place if everyone decides the same thing…truly inspirational.

  • Shushmita Parashar May 15, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Awesome story, just loved it!!!

  • Dean Samuel May 8, 2012, 2:28 pm

    Wow……… truly outstanding story……. What a soul saving story. This is a wonderful one, it can bring a dying love back to life. I love it

  • Wabiha Nishath May 5, 2012, 12:24 pm

    It suits me. I always hope to do this, to do that but never did anything. Thanks, this story really inspired me. Great job!!!

  • Hanna Nyu April 30, 2012, 1:57 am

    ..Though I’m still a student reading this made me wish to marry someone just like him someday. Very nice!!!

  • Ananya April 30, 2012, 1:11 am

    Very inspirational & motivational story. Of course the way we think, the same way our life turns out to be, I practically practice it… I hope all of us can utilise this Life’s Secret.

  • Janz April 24, 2012, 2:29 am

    I really love this story which has given me tips to value my love… I begin to mis him not only minutes but seconds. Thanks… I am looking for the same ending with my baby.

  • Shap36 April 22, 2012, 2:27 pm

    It’s really an inspiring story.

  • Parampreet Kaur April 19, 2012, 9:41 am

    Wowww, what a beautiful and sweet story. I also have decided to love my beloved throughout my whole life.

  • Solomon Onokere April 18, 2012, 2:08 am

    Wow, can’t wait to start practicing this in my life.

  • Gregory April 17, 2012, 9:49 pm

    Wow! Now that’s what you call love!

  • Cazeil April 2, 2012, 6:45 am

    Thanks for this inspiring story.. ^_^ I’m eager to share this to my hubby..

  • Varsha March 31, 2012, 2:52 am

    WOW!!! Really, at times we realize that somethings need to be decided not hoped…..

  • Bola March 23, 2012, 9:33 am

    I decide today that my marriage will be like that or more…

  • Balusamy March 8, 2012, 4:37 am

    Is there any such in real life? or only in stories? Really thought provoking. The 4 worded sentence, “Don’t hope, friend….Decide” is excellently built.

  • Baba Salisu February 26, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Good stories. Love is life.

  • Uday Patel February 24, 2012, 12:21 am

    Really superb story.

  • Chandra shekar February 17, 2012, 3:58 am


  • Mike Cimon February 12, 2012, 2:50 pm

    Keep me informed. I love the piece.

  • Obinna February 7, 2012, 8:18 am

    I like this story is rely motivating and can build up too

  • Obinna February 7, 2012, 5:38 am

    What a soul saving story. This is a wonderful one, it can bring a dying love back to life. I love it

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