No, maybe not off to a great start but it must have been a great beginning because here my folks are 64 years later celebrating a milestone. Celebration. I think every year is a milestone of celebration…making a commitment to the person in your life that you said “yes” to way back when. Still together. I chuckle when I hear newly weds say that it feels like they have been married forever. Just you wait. Oh to the celebration, mom and dad. Even though it will be the first time in all of your years of marriage that you will not be holding hands, giving a peck or two (hiding eyes here) and warm hugs of love and affection (big smile now) for one another… you love each other. (Thanks for the interference pandemic – not going to talk about you today).
Wow. It is humbling to have known someone for that long…and still talk to each other!! Hahaha. Kidding folks. It is kind of unbelievable really when you look in the section of the local newspaper with births, celebrations, and yes deaths and read about who is who. You see life unfolding before you and the wonderful testimonies of the celebrations. Yes, even in death, the life lived for however long…a celebration of; to be remembered or to remember. And then you look at the length of time different couples have been married. Holy lightening and everything that is holy….50, 60, 70, 80 +++. That must be some good cooking is all I can say.
So I take this journey today thinking of two special people in my life, giving witness to dedication and commitment to one another. Love. How does one do it? I guess I am going to refer to the pandemic situation. Because the turmoil that it has caused on families in particular marriages…how to weather the storms, is breaking my heart. You hear story upon story. Not good. I have a very sad feeling in my heart that the repercussions in the wake of this pandemic will change the face of many a couple; it has already started. How does one work through the hills and valleys of relationships, riding them out, and know that love still holds firm in the hearts of one’s heart, life partner, friend, lover, companion…however you want to capture the person who has been with you for….well forever?
I look at my folks and wonder how did they meet. I recall mom telling me that they met at a dance. And mom asking how tall my dad was…and dad being dad he replied, “Tall enough.” Can you imagine? Wow dad way to romance mom. I love the movies when two people for some reason cross path and then perchance they meet. Do they click right away? Well of course it is the movies. But then like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail you just never know. But it is the crazy way of meeting where out of hundreds of thousands multiplied by however many more, you meet the ‘one’. Then again it could be the boy/girl next door or childhood crush in school which grew into…you are it for me. You just never know when or where. And you do not know what is in store for you.
So what makes a relationship last or lasting. If I take mom and dad for instance, they are kind of opposite in many ways. Yet they worked. Mom quiet and reserved but boy don’t let her get that line across her mouth; dad the talker..oh boy. Still does. I mean it is not like I remember them or think about them being a couple over the years in a meaningful and heartfelt way. They were just mom and dad, same old same old. Oops sorry. LOL. But seriously they were always there – at the table, in the yard, knocking at bedroom door (really I just wanted to play with my barbies or read – no cell phones back then. Hehe), in the kitchen, in livingroom, in the car. Always. There.
Easy for them?? I doubt it. Think about it. Any couple who come together, come from different life experiences. They are not a blank slate. On a spectrum with own values, beliefs, faith, cultures, families, traditions, friends, attitudes, personalities, preferences, temperament, other relationships…the list can go on. Two. Different. People. Then the universe calls out, luring the mystery of fate, and then buddaboom buddabing. They meet, feel attraction or maybe not a first (or a long time), but nevertheless eventually get the “zing” – you have to be watch Hotel Transylvannia 3 – or spark and voila they decide to stick together like super glue. Oh yes, nice analogy. But get the picture. The couple become one for and to each other. Happy dance. It might be the “I do” or the “moving in”, no vow or contract, but stay they do….the togetherness. And that right there is AMAZING!!
What makes the yes come a knocking. I think of my own daughters. Having children, you decided that which means “yes”. I wanted children, blessed to have children, and all that comes with it. So for two meetings of the heart and mind, after the “zing” does its thing, somewhere along the way “yes” begins to come into the eyes by word and gesture for each other. It is the “yes” that is unbelievable!! Someone wanted someone and with all the hope in yes. Simple three letter word but packed with so much. Of course, right behind that is “no”, you know that word when things are not as ticktyboo as one would like. Yep, the hills and dales…maybe more like Grand Canyon dips. Just saying. But to get out of the dip and the valley, climbing up with that hand still there….albeit wrinkled, worn, much used, and a little bit shaky but oh still so steadfast solid.
Love. There is an old romance series from Jannette Oaks with one of the movie titles Love Comes Softly. I like to think that. It reminds me of a love that builds over time. Maybe the crossed paths, struck a light and ignited fast, even crazy fast, well other kind comes in more slowly. KInd of like a waterfall from a babbling brook, oh so gently falls to the rocks, and then off it goes meandering down the stream. Merrily merrily. Sometimes you look at a couple and think how in the world are they together. Not even knowing them but just the presence of each. You just never know who is drawn to whom or why. Love just works. Which I think Saint Paul brings a boundless display of capturing love…”love is patient, love is kind. Love is envy, it does not boast…Love never fails.”1 Cor 13:4-8 Is that it? Love never fails.
Well today, I honour my mom and dad. Just them. Loving them for who they are. For providing a path to follow, regardless of life’s circumstance, it worked. You work. I know you are not going to be able to touch hands or hug or kiss one another (TMI) but you will look into each other’s eyes on the screen (thank the Lord for technology) and smile. Laugh. Giggle even (nah dad not you). And hear my mom, who does not talk as much now, sees my dad and say, “there’s my man.” She did that a week ago, as my sister shared with me. God bless love. Thank you for giving me, all of us, family and friends a guide post to loving beyond measure. You got this and we, got you, now and forever more.
Celebrating the gift of marriage, testimony to a life lived with another, allowing someone in and be part of one’s life. Blessings.
Let us pray for those who are in need of our prayers and to those beloved couples who hold each others hand.