Where do the years go? Most of us can attest to the saying, “The days pass slowly, but the years fly by.” This is certainly true of Mike’s and my marriage. April 28, 2021 was our 37th anniversary. When I think of this, as well as remember that I will be 70 years of age this November, I am amazed. And grateful.
Our anniversary will always be shared with the death of our son-in-law Stephen’s beloved brother, Robby. Robby passed away suddenly from heart disease on April 28, 2020 at the young age of 41. His widow, Candi, sons Bradlee and John Morgan, parents Jane and Steve, sister Ginger, and brother Stephen and their families’ lives will never be the same. I would be ungrateful for life if I complained about aging when Robby and many others lost their opportunity to age. Hold your loved ones tight, and never go to bed angry with others, for we never know when we have seen them for the last time.
As I think about my life and our marriage, there is much for which to be grateful. In 1984 Mike and I combined our families and committed to raise our daughters together. The girls were 6 and 8 at the time and from our previous marriages. Mike and I knew that we were not just marrying each other, we were committing to building a home with and for our daughters. Through the years we have recommitted to that, not by renewing our vows in a ceremony, but by every decision that we made to stay together. It has not always been easy, but we have not wavered in our commitment. Our commitment to each other and to our daughters carried us through some rough times. Now, we have not just daughters but grandchildren who keep us committed!
Marriage is a commitment, and one that should last. As Mike and I, and also some reading this know, even with a commitment, a marriage does not always last. When a marriage ends, a family suffers. Regardless of the circumstances, marriages that dissolve have collateral damage that can last forever. Families suffer. Over time the disintegration of marriages and families affects the moral fabric of society. This is not said to induce guilt. It is said to reinforce commitment, the commitment that places the appropriate responsibility for the emotional health of children squarely on the shoulders of parents. It is important to note that in situations in which physical or emotional abuse is involved, it may be important to dissolve the marriage for the safety of those involved. In these situations, the commitment to the health and well- being of those involved takes priority over the commitment to the marriage.
Mike and I decided to celebrate our anniversary this year with a trip to St. Maarten. We have been travelling to St. Maarten for two weeks each year since 2000, with the exception of 2020, when COVID negated our trip. Some of the years our travel has included our children, other family, and friends. Some years, including this year, we have travelled alone. As I have reviewed photos from our travels to the island, I remember many good times, and an especially scary time due to Hurricane Irma in 2017. This mimics life in general, and marriage.
Many good times, and some scary times. Such is life. And marriage.