I often think of my father's "word-of-advice" as I listen to those
1) seeking a relationship;
2) enjoying the passion of new love;
3) or in the throes of difficult times in relationships.
He had just been admitted for heart failure, when a doctor, finding that my father had been married nearly 60 years, asked him sincerely, "How did you do that?" My father, known for succinct verbal retorts replied, "Endurance. You have to stick with it."
It's a word I am thinking of today, as I acknowledge my own "milestone" anniversary. I was young, really young, and naive and my life was full of promise and excitement when on a cold January morning, I promised to "love, honor, and cherish for better or for worse." I really had no idea at all what I was "signing on for" when I eagerly grinned as I said, "I do."
We've eaten, together, on a wobbly flea market table and on a solid mahogany one on a breathtakingly beautiful porch. We've slept, together, on cold basement floors and in a bedroom with a cathedral ceiling. We've each agreed to do many things we did not really want to do, in order to be together. We've put personal goals aside, at times, for each other. Together, we've worked through the challenge of balancing two careers, two kids, and numerous personal and professional "crises."
One "memorable" anniversary we "celebrated" with CYO hot dogs and there were several when we didn't even have dinner together! It's been an amazing, interesting, balancing act and at times, a bumpy ride, through my own many years of marriage. There were days, weeks, months of pure joy and great passion and yet there have also been days, weeks, and months when we endured through very difficult times. My father's words of advice ring clearly this morning as I reflect on the unimaginable love experience and joy in sharing this journey through the years. While I could never have imagined the depth of love I know today back when I made that promise in St. Patrick's Church, it is with sincere appreciation, gratitude for God's grace, and great happiness that I reflect, "Looks like we made it."