Last weekend, I had the honor of attending the 65th Wedding Anniversary celebration of my Aunt and Uncle. It was a wonderful celebration. They have four children and each of them gave a presentation. They each stressed the love and lessons that they learned from their parents.
The one fact that I found most incredible was that they were both raised within a short distance from each other in southern Pennsylvania, but they met in Orlando, Florida. It was amazing to me the distance covered to meet a neighbor.
This achievement is exceptional, especially in a day and age where more than half of marriages end in divorce. It also requires longevity on the part of the couple. I believe that all the milestones are incredible. Divorce is too common. My parents were not divorced but unfortunately I have been. My first marriage lasted until just months before our 20th anniversary. I think, like many marriages, there was great focus on the children to the exclusion of maintaining the marriage partnership. I don’t think this is intentional, it just seems to evolve that way. It was a valuable lesson to learn. Our responsibility to our children is very important, but it is our responsibility to raise our children so that they can move on. We must still maintain the relationship we have with our mate because that relationship is meant to stretch beyond our children’s departure from home.
I always am gladdened when I see anniversaries announced in the papers. Long marriages should be celebrated. There are good reasons why some people divorce, but I do believe that it is much too easy to end a marriage. Our culture has become one of serial monogamy. It is an inspiration and a reminder that long marriages are possible.
I am sure that it was not always easy for them. They had their ups and downs like any other couple. In another couple’s interview, the wife said “We were raised to fix things that were broken, not just throw them away.” I think this was said quite eloquently.
I’ve started over again and have no hope of ever reaching a 65th wedding anniversary, but I certainly want to try for as long as possible. Relationships are work, sometimes hard work, but worthwhile when mutual appreciation, attention and affection is continually nurtured, offered and accepted.