It is my 43rd Wedding Anniversary today. It is hard to believe so many years have passed. The day we were married was a beautiful and crisp day. We didn’t need anything but a light coat. The next morning we woke up to below zero temps. It was a good thing we were driving to California for our honeymoon.
We had a wonderful wedding day. Were there snafu’s? Of course there were. I have watched the shows on TV recently about all the problems at weddings and how upset the bride gets when things do not go exactly as planned. We had few of those things but they didn’t reduce me to tears instead I took them as memorable moments even on my wedding day.
The first thing that happened was that a skunk had sprayed futures sister-in-law’s house where my husband to be was living. The skunk chose to do this the night before the wedding. Needless to say the clothes that were brought along on our honeymoon didn’t smell too good. They had to be aired out on the back seat of the car and we traveled with our windows open for awhile. It was lucky the tuxedo hadn’t been picked up yet so the smell didn’t affect the wedding ceremony.
The second thing that happened was that one of our ushers didn’t make it until the wedding was over. He lived with a group of guys and they had all been out on a pre wedding party. The friends got up and didn’t notice our usher was still sleeping. They thought he had left. They made the wedding but he didn’t.
The third thing that happened we discovered on our honeymoon. My sister-in-law had sewed all my husbands underwear shut.
Despite those interesting beginnings we are still here together 43 years.
We have raised three children and those three children have given us four grandchildren. Those grandchildren are the icing on the cake when we get together as a family.
Was marriage what I expected? I don’t know what I expected. We all have those little kids dreams of marrying our Prince Charming and living happily every after. We may do that and marry our Prince Charming but in real life, Prince Charming has little things that irritate the Princess and the Princess does little things to irritate Prince Charming. It never says that in the Fairy Tales. Did we ever hear the Princess yelling to Prince Charming “Don’t forget to put the toilet seat down.” I don’t think so.
I have read many happily ever after stories for many couples that have been married 50 and 60 years and more and they always ask them what kept them together. Their answers are usually kindness, laughter, respect for one another. Usually those articles don’t ask them about downs and what almost tore them apart and during those times what they did to keep on going as a couple. And I have to believe that every couple experiences those iffy times. Or maybe not.
Forty three years is a long time to be married. I would be lying if I said it was all roses and chocolates. It is roses and chocolates and thorns and chicken livers. Marriage is hard work. Marriage is give and take on the sides of both people. Marriage takes a lot of grit at times to get through the things that tear couples apart. Marriage takes a lot of love and forgiveness on both sides. Marriage is also having someone that knows you well enough to complete your sentences, can tell by a look whether to tease you or not, and knows when to be silent when all you want to for someone to listen. Marriage is having someone always know what will put a smile on your face.
We take vows to love and cherish in sickness and health but we don’t always think about those words. There should be something in there about the little things. I vow to love and cherish in sickness and health and not let the picky little things get in the way. “Who left the cap off the toothbrush?” “Did you shut the door?” “Were you born in the barn?” “It’s your turn to get up with Jr.” We spend time barking about the little things and soon they turn into the big things.
We have had big things. We have had little things. We have had sickness. We have had health. Do we have a perfect marriage ? I don’t know. What is a perfect marriage? I think we have had a marriage that has encountered life and we have loved, laughed, cried, been angry, suffered losses and experienced incredible joy. Through it all we have not quit even when we thought we wanted to. Here it is 43 years and I feel so blessed that we are here together, at this time looking at the future with hope and love. Looking back at the memories I wouldn’t have it any other way.
I want to wish my husband a Happy Anniversary. I am so glad I married you. Robert Browning said it best. “Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be, the last of life, for which the first was made. Our times are in his hand who saith, ‘A whole I planned, youth shows but half; Trust God: See all, nor be afraid!”