Monday, June 18, 2007

Old Love

Happy anniversary to us! Mike and I were married 30 years ago today. We must be having a good time, as time is flying still. How does it feel to have been married so long? Well, for us, I think "happy" about sums it up. Minnesota singer-songwriters Neal Hagberg and Leandra Peak have a beautiful folksong, "Old Love": "We don't have to say I love you / Quite as often as we used to / Old love just goes without saying / But we'll still say it anyway."

I remember wondering, even striding confidently out of the church on my wedding day: Is this going to work, or am I making the biggest mistake of my life? Thirty years later, I can say it's been a wonderful adventure. Some days have been like chocolate mousse with a glass of good port -- a sweet adrenaline rush. Others have been like a baby's rice cereal: nasty tasting and thin but good for you in the long run. It takes a bit of both for a good marriage. Otherwise, you'd be kinda undernourished.

When I witness the rash of divorces among my contemporaries, I can't help but ask, "What is so hard about being married?" Plenty, I guess. But here we are, doing something really hard and actually enjoying it. I guess we've always been grateful to God that, at least, we have each other. We could have lots less. That gratitude is what keeps us humble and growing.

The down side, of course, is that we're at the stage of our lives when death and separation seem more imminent that they did in 1977. The threat of loss is palpable, and I find myself pondering the unthinkable. How ever will I endure someday the loss of my great ally, my dearest friend? I know he thinks about the same thing. And it goes way beyond filling out life insurance applications and working out the will. I feel an ache in the pit of my stomach just thinking about it, but think, I must. So we work extra hard to make these our best days ever. That sounds corny, I know, but love means that you take special care in making memories, each for the other.

We're having dinner tonight with some good friends who, incidentally, were married on the same date as we were. Like us, they're still married, too. It's nice to know there are some of us left! So, as Forrest Gump says, that's all I have to say about that.

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