So many of my friends are close to hitting their 10 year anniversary or have already hit that milestone. Other friends of mine have been married many more years than that and some are just beginning their lives together. All of it is beautiful. I was reminded by my neighbor on Saturday, that every anniversary is a milestone. It is one more year that you and your spouse have gotten to spend together. When J and I visit some of the older people, we often hear about how they were married for 50, 55, 60 years. The tears glistening in their eyes tell a story so deep that you know you won’t even touch the surface of it on a one hour visit. So many years, so many memories, so much good and so much bad. Think about how much can happen in the span of one year, a birth, deaths, job losses, job offers, moving homes, moving states, making new friends, saying good-bye to people you love, and more. Multiply that by 50 or 60 years.
The thing that people forget once they are married, is the beautiful part of being married. You decide, at possibly a very young age, to promise to spend your life with someone. You promise to experience all of life’s high and low points with this ONE person. This is HUGE. When you become a parent, you promise to take care of this baby you made, but one day, the baby grows up into an adult and leaves (most likely). You are not forever living with this person and sharing every part of your life with your child. Some people forget this. You get to spend all those awesome moments, awful moments, and all of those in between with the one person you promised. You made a vow. It’s a beautiful vow. Let us not forget that. Let us not forget that in our daily rut of alarm going off in the morning, rushing to get the kids to school, rushing to work, using up all your energy, and then rushing home to see the kids. Let us not forget the one person we made the vow to 10 years ago, 1 year ago, 30 years ago. The vow of “I want to do this with you, all of this. We are a team.” Don’t let routine, life ruts, quarter life, mid-life crises, etc, get in the way of remembering why you are living with this person to begin with.
If you get a chance, talk to someone who is 90 years old, and celebrated their 70th anniversary the same year they said good-bye to their partner they had for life. The look on their face says it all. So much love and so many memories. The thing is, not one of us is perfect. We all falter, fail, and fall in life. Having your spouse by your side who says “it’s okay, I’m here. I know you will get my back when I fall.” is what every one of us wants. And listening and watching someone’s face while they talk about having that for 50, 60, 70 years is beautiful.