Fifty Five and Counting

Stargazer Lilly

Stargazer Lilly

Fifty five years is a long time to be married to the same partner, and today, Peggy and I helped celebrate such an honor. It is a tradition at St. Anthony’s for married couples to renew their marriage vows on milestone anniversaries. I am sure this tradition is universal across the world in churches of all denominations. An anniversary of this duration is quite an accomplishment in our current culture. When fifty percent of marriages end in divorce, a fifty five year marriage is not only a milestone, it is an event of major magnitude.

As a young man, I thought there was nothing special about long marriages. I always maintained that the only impediment to reaching a “golden” anniversary is dependent on the couple living long enough. My parent’s marriage ended just a few months short of their sixty fifth anniversary. They lived long lives, and showed us that way to a long marriage.

Making adjustments to living with another person is a daily habit. If one cultivates the habit and adjusts his attitude accordingly, there are no irreconcilable differences. Living your life in this manner takes work. It does not come naturally, it has to be learned. Who better to learn from than our parents. I can only surmise that the high divorce rate is the result of too many parents who did not try very hard to love each other. If two people truly, and openly love each other, they will automatically telegraph the message to their kids. Divorce would not be an option.  Reconciliation would be the order of the day.
Peggy and I recently celebrated three years of bliss. We had experience behind us, each being widowed. Her husband died just a few weeks short of their fiftieth anniversary, and I just short of forty two. We thought our new marriage would be a snap. After all, with ninety two years of experience between us we have experienced just about every situation a married couple could encounter. How wrong we were. We were a new union of two people totally strange to each other. Even after our third anniversary, we continue to grow. We learn new things about each other daily. We compormise daily too. In other words we work at it.
Perhaps, if we live long enough, and reach our tenth anniversay, we will renew our vows at St. Anthony’s.

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