Friday, July 8, 2016

July 8th, 1966 -- Happy 50th Wedding Anniversary to Us!

50 years ago today, I married my best friend and the love of my life, and I am grateful for every second of it. I miss him today – more than ever. This day is one we looked forward to -- to get to celebrate the commitment we made 50 years ago to love and cherish each other until death do us part.

Those two young kids, so in love, had no earthly idea what was ahead for them. We loved and we cherished for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health and though the words said “until death do us part”, the “until” part is incorrect. Beyond death, I still love and cherish that beautiful man that loved and cherished me for the 44 years, 4 months and 8 days we had together (plus the 5 years we had together from ages 12 and 13 – we married when I was 17 and he was 18). There weren’t many things we would do without the other, but this time, God’s plans outweighed our plans. One of us got their “early departure ticket” for heaven. He earned it, and God was ready to give him His best!

Yes, we came upon the “in sickness and in health“ part sooner than we could have imagined. Was it 44 years of wedded bliss? Heavens, NO! It was 44 years of a whole lotta beautiful times, but also a whole lotta tough times. Much of this young girl’s dream for “happy ever after” went by the way side – probably in the first week of marriage. LOL! My sweet husband worked a full time job, carried a full load of college hours and I worked at a $1.25/hour job to help make ends meet. Then at 3 months of marriage, my Sweetheart – the daring, bold and audacious risk taker that he was, announced, “I think it’s time we should start our family!” Bada bing, bada boom – 9 months later we had a beautiful baby boy that added to the mix of our young, naïve “happy ever after” world.

Probably the most challenging part of our first year of marriage was that we were two kids, flying by the seat of our pants, learning each day what love and forgiveness were all about. We’d argue about some of the craziest things. Oftentimes our quarrels were more like siblings than husband and wife. Our two kids learned the word for those quarrels was “discussions”. LOL! Oh how I remember the many times when I had to go to God for help with being a gentle, loving and sweet wife. I remember well, sleeping as close to the edge of the bed as I could get because I wanted him punished for something so insignificant. We had so much to learn.

As I posted a couple of weeks ago, however, our CENTER was God. We were always (eventually – sometimes later than sooner) drawn back to His words about LOVE in 1 Corinthians 13: “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”

Heads up for the newcomers, and those who have made it for several years, bottom line – marriage is NOT easy. There are some really serious issues that come with the territory. That’s why we needed divine help. The vows that we said on our wedding day, 50 years ago, were real to us. We made vows before God, and we continued to call on Him for strength to make it through those times. We found that whatever the situations were that we faced, God was ALWAYS there to help us through it. None of our issues fazed God in the slightest. And best news of all – He could handle it. So much so, that our journey became sweeter and sweeter as the years went by. The depth of our love and respect for each other became pure gold. And, gold is the symbol for 50. I like to think that while my sweetheart walks on streets of pure gold today in heaven, my life continues to be filled with so many golden nuggets that include my family, friends and most of all, God’s love and peace that keeps this girl cherishing this GOLDEN journey of faith!

So, today, July 8th, 2016, I’m thanking you, Father God, for loving me so much that you showered your blessings upon me to the fullest. Knowing how our story together would end….I’d do it all again….and I’d say “yes” again and again. And to show how thankful I am…..I’m going to continue strong on this amazing faith journey, make more memories with our family and friends and continue writing many chapters in my journal that celebrate LIFE on this side of heaven…..until the day I get to join my Honey at HOME!
Happy 50th Anniversary, My Darling!