March 3, 1979. That was a big day. I got married. Well, actually I had a wedding. It would take me years to figure out how to be married. At the time of the wedding I thought I was in love. I had no idea what it meant to love. Not really.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. I Cor. 13: 4-7
In the early years my love was not all that patient. It was not always kind. I’m afraid my love was easily angered. I know it kept a record of wrongs. My early love failed at times.
March 3, 2015 will mark 36 years of marriage. Marriage. Two very different people coming together to share life. Share dreams. Share hopes. Share parenting. Share pain, joy, disappointment, frustration, excitement, growing up, and growing old(er) – together. My love for Ken is a million times deeper than it was 36 years ago. Back then I had no idea what life would bring. I had no idea of the challenges we would face. That’s probably a good thing. But I did know one thing. I knew that God was committed to my success – as a person, as a wife, and as a mother. I knew that if I kept God as my center, the most important relationship in my life (and Ken did the same), then I would be okay. Ken and I would be okay.
We are more than okay, actually. We are terrific, thank you very much. We didn’t always do everything right. Not the first time. But we learned. We trusted – God and each other. We persevered. We became less selfish and more selfless. We discovered the joy of serving one another. We laughed. A lot. We forgave. A lot.
Thirty-six years. A lifetime. The blink of an eye.
My heart overflows with gratitude. I know I am blessed. My marriage is the best and brightest blessing in my life. It isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn close. I could leave things the way they are, sit back, and put our marriage on autopilot. But I don’t want to. Happily, Ken doesn’t either. We know we can do better.
We can laugh those crazy, crying belly laughs much more often. I love those times.
We can take more long walks, hold hands and talk, or be silent. Just being together is enough.
We can cultivate more patience and understanding in the aging process. Keeping a sense of humor is important.
We can continue to dream our dreams, share our hopes and fears, and live our lives. Because we believe the best is yet to come.