On this day 29 years ago, I walked down the aisle of St. Mary's Catholic Church in League City, Texas and officially joined my life to Tom's. I hadn't even known him a full year, but I was very sure my feet were treading in the right direction.
Despite that confidence and our whole romantic fairy-tale falling-in-love story, the path hasn't always been an easy one, because, you know, we're married. It's like a three-legged sack race... to get to the finish line you have to learn to work as a team. You might travel faster by yourself, and maybe trip less, but it sure wouldn't be as much fun.
Last weekend we attended a wedding officiated by a permanent deacon of the Catholic Church, a widower who was able to give a unique spin to the ceremony and the concept of marriage.
He spoke mostly to the new couple, but his words resonated even with the rest of us who already know that marriage can be hard, how there are going to be times you might not even like that person you married much less love them, grrr, because he helped us remember we're just a heartbeat away from being left alone with just our memories and regrets. Never take each other's presence for granted.
He warned the new couple that Life would try to come between them. I personally think the most important word in marriage, besides Love, is Cling. You have got to cling to each other with all you've got because there's so much pulling you apart or trying to squeeze in between you. Stress, lack of money, lack of sleep, kids, exhaustion, pride...
Oh, pride is a big one. Watch out for it! The deacon warned against it, too, about the dangers of keeping score on who does the most around the house, etc. (Those of you who've been married awhile know what I'm talking about!)
We need to overlook each other's faults and focus on the positives. Focus on love, because after all, the love you have for each other is just a reflection of God's love for each of you.
"My wife was a terrible housekeeper," he told us, then looking up, he said, "You know it's true! You were!" But he said if started to complain, she would look at him and say, "Do you love me?" and it would get him everytime. (Yes, he loved you. It was plain to all of us!)
He told us to kiss each other and say "I love you" every day, and he had us do it right then and there!
By golly, I think the best thing a couple can do for their marriage is to attend a wedding every now and then, especially right before their anniversary.
Happy anniversary, sweet Tom! I love you!
And now for the rest of my sweet! moments of the week...
Sunday: attending Mass with 2/3 of your kids; an unrushed trip to the grocery store; Tom's hot wings for dinner; catching up on South Park episodes with your son
Monday: pink clouds; capturing photos of a woodpecker; a too rare phone conversation with your mother- and father-in-law
Tuesday: watching your old dog run down a dirt road; keeping your temper despite being disconnected 6 times and being on hold for two hours with the phone company; a new lens waiting in your mailbox; a violet dusk; a call from your brother with joyful news
Wednesday: glimpse of a hummingbird out the window; a new book to review waiting in your mailbox; potentially good news from your son
Thursday: your sister's birthday!; news that your cataract is growing but not enough to affect your vision or require surgery... yet; lunch at the mall and philosophical discussions with 2/3 of your kids; Panda Express orange chicken; a surprise gift from a friend
Friday: the excitement of closing one chapter in your life and opening a new one; a roadrunner zipping in front of you then waiting while you snap its picture; writing and writing and writing on your book; a full moon over your left shoulder, casting light on the road before you.
Saturday: looking into a pair of familiar blue eyes, feeling the same rush of love you felt 29 years ago when you said "I do".
Hope you've had a week full of sweet! moments!