38 years ago…today
That is a long time…add on the two years in high school that we were ‘together’ and that makes 40. I am 56…16…I was 16 years old when I first went on a date with him! We liked each other, he just kept coming over to see me and I stopped dating anyone else and pretty soon, we were ‘going steady’. By the time I walked in the doors my Junior year of high school I had his class ring, wrapped with yarn to make it fit, on my finger. It stayed there for a year until he replaced it with an engagement ring. Yep…by the time I walked in the doors my Senior year I was engaged. My whole Senior year my focus was on ‘my wedding’. TWO WEEKS after graduation I was married! 18 years old! It didn’t seem weird at the time…a lot of my friends had plans to be married, one of them even got married before graduation. It was just how things happened then. Some went to college, some went to work, some got married, some did some of each. 40 years later, I would like to say that I (we) have it all figured out, that I know just what to do and not to do to make a marriage work, to pass on this wealth of information to educate the world (at least my kids) on how to make their marriages last, I wish I could…but I can’t. I have no idea how we got this far. Some might say…’It was God’s will’…but I know many couples who have strong faith in God who were not able to stay married. Yes, I know, God wants us to stay married, He said in the Bible that He hates divorce, so yes, He has kept us together, because we had no idea what we were doing or what was ahead. We were just KIDS! We knew NOTHING about marriage, it was just ‘what came next’. Sure we went to the pre marriage class at church, we attended a young married Sunday School class, we went through the motions. But we really didn’t know what we were doing. At first it was so simple…ride off from the church on your honeymoon, come home, open the gifts and set up your home….but then…then he goes off to work, begins to feel what it is to be the person responsible for the livelihood of two people…we begin to discover what it is to be with somebody who isn’t always happy to be there, little by little you discover things you didn’t know about each other, and you even find out things you don’t like and then you begin to think that you can change that, or you get mad that the other person has changed…when really all that has happened is that you are both changing, your relationship is changing…you are growing up. We grew up…from little kids, to young adults. Then we got pregnant. And even more things changed. He now is trying to provide for a family, and he is working harder and the money is going so quick. The more he makes the more it takes and the family keeps growing and even though they are awesome and you treasure them and can’t imagine your life without them, they also need to be taken care of and you want to give them more than they can ask for and you can’t. Sometimes you fake it, other times you think you finally got it right. Then things change again. You keep on smiling, you keep on praying. The kids grow up, you don’t know how, you don’t know where the time went…suddenly they are the same age you were when you got married…they are dating, they are getting married…and you see them going through what you have and you tell them just hold on. It is up and down, it is good and bad, it is happy, it is sad, it is funny, sometimes hilarious…it is life…not perfect, but they can be sure of one thing…it will change and I have no idea what is ahead…and I have no idea how I got here…but I am.