Personally, I am a big fan of Love and Marriage and All That… and as today is my wedding anniversary, I hope that you will indulge me a bit.
As those of you who know me are well aware, and faithful readers of this blog have learned, I failed at marriage the first time around. It wasn’t that I didn’t know what I was promising; our excellent pre-marriage counselor focused precisely on those promises. It wasn’t because I didn’t have outstanding role models. My parents were married for 53 years until my father’s death. I knew what I was promising. There was no question I understood the vow “until death do us part.”
Looking back on things I think I failed to keep my vows for a variety of reasons, but chiefly because I wasn’t smart enough, brave enough, or tenacious enough to find the solution to stay and grow our marriage. There is just enough sarcasm that lives deep within my DNA to recognize Guilt as the gift that keeps on giving. Yea, verily.
But Love also keeps on giving. I have married a second time, and I feel very fortunate that my husband understands me exceedingly well. He understands that I am a sentimental fool who can cry at the drop of a hat (even Frosty’s when he melted). He knows that I believe and understand what the church teaches about keeping promises and that when I failed in my first marriage, it left grief and scars that have been covered but will not heal. He remembers daily that loving kindness, understanding, hugs, kisses and sweet, tender words go a long way toward warming my heart.
Today is our ninth wedding anniversary. My husband is 18 years older than I am. He returned home from his Navy service during the Vietnam war when I was in second grade. I am so thankful for this man.
He is fearless and has taken on the daunting challenge that is me. He loves me when I feel unlovable; he comforts me when I grieve over the loss of someone else, he shelters me in the circle of his strong arms when I need protection. He laughs at me when I take myself too seriously; he raises color on my cheeks by humorously embarrassing me in public, and he all too enthusiastically believes in public displays of affection.
Today we are enjoying our first meal out in the new year with a Christmas gift we saved for this celebration. Our festivities won’t stop with dessert. We are both flawed people, but we are united in one belief concerning our marriage. We are in this for the duration, and we are praying that the Lord will have mercy on us and grant us our wish: many, many more years together making mischief, making love, and keeping our promises.