On a cool Sunday afternoon in New York thirty two years ago we said “I do” in front of family, friends and assorted neighbors in the parish we grew up in. The journey has taken us many places many of which we were not prepared for at all. Thankfully though, we had each other and we held on, sometimes for dear life, sometimes out of stubbornness, sometimes so the other wouldn’t fall.
Always though, there has been the undeniable belief that we are meant to be together. Marriage is not all candles, wine and flowers. It is work. Every day. You cannot stop taking care of it any more than you can stop taking care of a newborn baby. Life is constantly changing all around you and so adjustments need to be made. Two people join together as one and nothing is ever the same again. The blessings and trials that are part of life come towards you, sometimes hurling you to uncomfortable places. Joyful events like your children being born and sad events like sickness force you to grow and change and manage your needs and expectations. That is why you can never stopping caring for your marriage. Eventually the baby grows up and leaves home; your marriage does not.
There is no “way” to be married. Just as each person is a unique individual created by God, each marriage is unique. The last few years have brought tremendous joy and pain and more adjustments. We have watched many people we love die, there has been serious illness and changes made in response to that. We have become a part of the Church in a different way when John was ordained a few months ago. Our son is recently engaged to a wonderful woman and we are looking forward to her becoming a part of our family.
What will happen next? Who knows? Life is full of the unknown. But I know who will be next to me.
Our First Dance.
If I had to choose now, I think I’d go with this: