Sunday, April 6, 2014

Twenty-Eight Years And Counting...

Joe and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary yesterday.  It was a day to reflect on how we got here and what the next twenty-eight years might bring.  I hauled out our wedding albums and we had a few good laughs.  We even had some tears remembering all the folks, young and old, who had been at our wedding and have since passed away.

April 5, 1986

April 5, 2014

A friend recently asked me, "What's your secret to a happy marriage?"

Her question made me stop and think.  There really is no secret.  Just hard work.  And like my Dad used to say, "Hard work was never easy."

Saint Augustine's Church

One word of advice I would give young couples is to choose someone with qualities they admire.  For me those qualities included honesty, intelligence, dependability, trustworthiness, and a blistering good sense of humour.

I invited my kindergarten students to our wedding ceremony.  When Father McIntee noticed them spilling out into the aisle to get a better view, he invited them up to the altar so they could have the best seat in the house.

I would caution young couples not to base their choices on things like looks.  As you can see from my 'before' and 'after' photos, these things change.  People gain weight.  Hair goes grey.  Body parts droop.  Facial hair grows in unwanted places.  Ears go deaf.  Teeth yellow.  

But the core values of who we are remain.

That being said, no matter how well suited people are, no matter how many qualities you admire in each other, marriage is work.  You have to work at keeping it joyful, loving, interesting and open.

Getting married to the one you love is all well and good but throw a few kids into the mix, along with a master's degree in the U.S., a mortgage, moving to a new town, a couple of careers, a long daily commute, chronic illnesses, housework, yard work, pets and things can get stressful!

I remember watching Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman being interviewed on television several years back.  James Lipton asked them the same question my friend asked me.  Newman quipped, "We never wanted to get divorced at the same time."

"THAT'S IT!"  I thought.  When I was at my worst, Joe was at his best.  And vice versa.

I would encourage young couples to keep going even when it becomes difficult.  Trust me, a good marriage is worth it.

After 28 years, the stresses of yesteryear have now waned.  Our kids are grown and happy and getting on with their lives.  The house is paid off.  We are down to one cat.  A house cleaner comes every two weeks.  I have grassed over large swaths of my huge flower beds.  We are travelling fools.  We are nearing retirement.

We have kept each other going through this crazy, wacky thing called marriage.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

No comments:

Post a Comment