I have spent the last few months sorting through memorabilia from my husband's and my courtship and wedding. Those years were a time of great angst (yes, I was 18-20 years old!) because during the school year, I rarely saw this man with whom I was madly in love. So, I wrote sappy poems about missing him.
After our wedding, and during our working, raising children, busy time of life, I still missed Gary. He traveled for work--a lot--and I held the fort at home. When he did come home, he was tired and wanted alone time. I was excited and wanted together time.
Now, our life is reversed. We are together almost all the time, especially in this interesting year of the virus. I have to be honest, all the together time has, at times, been a bit much. We have both suggested, hopefully in jest, that perhaps the other one should take a trip.
But, fifty years ago, at the beginning of this journey, we made a commitment to love and honor "till death do us part." And on our spiritual journey, we learned that love is not the fluttery feelings that ebb and flow and sometimes don't even show up for long period of time. Instead:
Love is patient, love is kind, and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails...but now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13
Love is how you act. I have to admit, we have not always done this well. Both of us have been impatient, unkind, arrogant. We have been provoked and kept a running account of the ways we have been wronged. But we kept trying. Marriage is truly the most difficult thing you will do.
But oh, the joy of living life with a best friend! The joy of watching your love expand--3 children, 7 grandchildren. And the joy of serving God together with your spouse. This has been a glorious journey.
I know too well, one of us may be alone again. My sister and several of my friends have lost their spouses. One has gone ahead, while one is left grieving and missing.
So, love well, my friends. Cherish the days that too quickly slip away. Cherish the quiet moments of love, the exuberant days of great joy, and even the shared times of sorrow.
Fifty years has held a lot of moments. And I love him still. Happy 50th anniversary to the love of my life!
Susan Lawrence taught elementary school for 33 years before hanging up her chalkboard to write and speak. She writes novels for both adults and middle grade children. Susan lives in Iowa with her husband and short-legged Lab, Molly. She has 3 children and 7 grandchildren who love to hear her stories.