As the anniversary of our wedding approaches, so always does a time of reflection on what Will and I have accomplished in our time together, and what we hope to accomplish in the years to come. We talk of our children and grandchildren, our family life, our achievements, and of course the love that has sustained us throughout our union.
This year, as we all know, everything has changed. We now count our remaining time in terms of months, not decades, and our hopes for the future in terms of lengthening life for a year or so, not a long journey into old age and beyond. We have learned through anguish how much we truly love and rely on one another, and we cherish every single moment we have together…..even if it involves some rather uncomfortable (not to mention awkward) situations.
Here’s more of the stuff the old folks don’t tell you before you march down that aisle:
They don’t tell you that you’ll still be crazy in love after thirty-odd years……if you’re lucky, that is. When you’re young, you think that nothing can be as intense as that first flush of infatuation, which turns into love with time and repeated exposure to the object of your affections. And when you’re in the middle of raising children, with all their messes and school projects and teenage crushes, you sometimes look at your spouse and think “I never signed on for this!”
It’s when you’ve reached that lovely point between the active child-rearing years and senior citizenship that a solid relationship becomes golden. The grandchildren are coming thick and fast, and it’s rather amusing to watch your children struggle with some of the minor difficulties they put you through. But when everyone goes home, it’s just you and your dearly beloved, and this is the time when you get to rediscover each other as partners, not only Mom and Dad. And this is where Will and I both feel we’re being cheated……we were just getting to know each other as mature adults, with new and improved visions of our future, and now this!
The old folks also don’t tell you what “so long as we both shall live” means. Then again, I don’t suppose anybody really knows what it means until you’re there. You go along living your lives, year after year, never realizing that a day may arrive when the Lord calls your mate over to the bench and warns him that it’s late in the fourth quarter and he needs to start hitting his receivers with those long passes……..or worse, taps him on the shoulder and says “That’s it, kid, you’re outta the game.” (Please forgive the football metaphors—it’s the only way I can express this part without dissolving into tears. Again.)
That day has not yet come, though we can see it from here. So the only thing to do today is to keep living and loving as if there’s no end…..until death us do part.