Saturday, January 14, 2012

Anniversary, 32 Years

     On January 12, my husband Pat and I celebrated our thirty second wedding anniversary.  And absolutely, yes, I would marry him all over again.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  The day was sunny, but cold and windy.  The church was filled with poinsettias and candles.  We were both wobbly-kneed and, looking back, so very young.  I stood face blurred beneath my veil, breathless with wonder and anticipation and pledged to love Pat forever.  Pat, no less nervous, promised me forever in return.
     We didn’t know what life would bring us.  We just knew that we wanted to live it together.  
     Since saying, “I do,” Pat and I have been blessed with quite a lot - 5 sons, 1 daughter, a daughter-in-law, a dog and a turtle, a house, a bunch of furniture, and a garage filled with everything but a car.  It takes an effort to build a life together, and while most of these things are just things, they stand as evidence of time and energy thoughtfully invested.  Of two individuals becoming one cemented together with happiness, loss, and murmured prayers.
      Thirty-two years ago we had no idea what the everyday details of our life would be.  We could not foresee the habits of courtesy, the words of blessing, or not, that would be spoken daily.  We did not know the schedules we would keep or how those days would become years and then decades.  Getting married is such a great leap of faith.
     Everyone seems normal until you get to know them.  Pat knows and understands my idiosyncrasies.  And I understand his, which are far less, just ask my children.  When Pat and I first married, I discovered that he was one of those people who roll the tube of toothpaste up from the bottom. I am more of a grab and squeeze kind of girl. And then imagine my surprise the first time I realized, oh-my-goodness, Pat turns his socks inside out when he takes them off!  Let me share:  Life is full of toothpaste tubes  and rolled up socks- opportunities to get annoyed with each other.   Way back then it certainly seemed ridiculous that I would bicker with my beloved husband about socks and toothpaste.  Eventually you make the decision to find joy in the everydayness (is that a word?) of the marriage that you leapt into so happily.  You stop looking for reasons to be annoyed and focus on that wonderful person you chose to marry.  
     Pat and I have seen each other in traffic, sick, angry, in mourning, and in prayer.  I know how Pat will react to a stuffed up toilet and a kayak trip down Wappingers Creek at flood stage.  He has seen me cry over a kitchen covered in red sugar Kool-aide powder, dumped cereal, and trails of food items from an early morning breakfast run by a child old enough to know better.  Pat has planned camping vacations, built fires, and put chemicals in a pool that he does not swim in.  Pat starts my car on cold mornings so that it will be warm.  He loves our children.
      Older couples will often remark that they somehow love their spouse more these 25, 35, 50 years later, than they did when they first married.  As a newlywed, I always loved to hear that, but was pretty sure it would not apply to me.  I already was so in love with Pat I did not think it possible to love him more.  
      And I am amazed because I really do love him more than I ever dreamed thirty-two years ago when I said, “I do.”    “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror;  then we  shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13: 12  One day not so long from now, Pat and I will stand wrinkled hand in wrinkled hand.  We will look back at our life.  A life based on faith in the God who brought us together.  We will see our love story played out in all its chapters.  On that day, God will reach down gently to me and say,  “Do you see Me?  Do you see Me in the minutes, hours, days, and years?”
     And on that day, I will answer breathless with wonder and anticipation, “I do, Lord.  Oh, yes, I do.”

Linking to: Proverbs 31 


Foursons said...

I'm reading backwards and will be commenting on your P52 post in a minute, but first I wanted to say a huge congratulations on your 32nd anniversary! I smiled, chuckled, and *sighed* through every word you wrote. This year my husband and I will celebrate our 14th anniversary and I hope in 15 years that I can say exactly what you have said here so eloquently.

Jenny said...

Congrats on 32 years! Great pics!

Rose @ Walnut Acre said...

Beautiful post. Happy Anniversary!!

Christina said...

coming over to post after you commented on my P52 post. Congrats on 32 years!! My hubby and I are at 9 and long to make 30 and more one day if the Lord leaves us on earth long enough! :)

Christina -

5 Boys and a Princess said...

I love the first picture! My husband and I have been married for almost 24 years and it's true that I love him more deeply and strongly than I possibly could have as that 17 year old bride. He's my completion.

Thanks for coming over to my blog. Do you think it helps that your daughter has a little brother? Tovah thinks she rules the roost and they don't argue with her, too much...

Unknown said...

Thank you. My husband and I had three sons then took in two foster children, a girl and a boy. We adopted them and then found out their mother was expecting again. So we ended up with a bonus of another son. My children range in age from 27 - 10. My daughter is 16. She absolutely rules the roost in this house.
Thanks for the visit.

Unknown said...

Happy Anniversary! I love your photos and I really enjoyed reading your story.

Darci said...

I love this photo! It's going to be my next must around here... beautiful. Loved the anniversary post :)

Susan said...

Wonderful, touching post. Thanks for sharing with us! :)

Lizzi said...

This is such a beautiful, inspiring, and true post. My husband and I have been married 8 years and we still deal with our toothpaste and sock differences, but it's worth it.

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