Since I'm posting this on a Monday, yesterday was my parents' real anniversary...but today I'm celebrating on the blog :) My parents were married 33 years ago on a cold day in New York. Over three decades later there are four adults and four grandchildren now living their lives because of it. Their wedding day was the start of a marriage that has brought them through years of ups and downs and weathered the storm in a beautiful way.
The closest you will ever get to seeing a marriage besides your own is probably in your parents. Through the years spent at home, and now living a little ways away, I have learned countless lessons from watching mom and dad love each other. By way of the marriage vows I shared with Nathan, and those that my parents spoke so many years ago, here are just a few things I know because of watching them together.
I take you for my husband/wife to have and to hold from this day forward...
I know that when they got married - or when anyone gets married - it's impossible to know the curveballs life will throw at you. When they said their vows on that November day so many years ago, they meant them. They meant every word. They taught me the meaning of commitment, and what it meant when I first said those vows to Nathan almost six years ago.
...for better, for worse. Everyone fights. Everyone has disagreements. But for mom and dad, they always made up. They never stayed angry for too long. And through their example, they taught me how to fight fair and, most importantly, to forgive quickly.
...for richer, for poorer. As a child, I was often blissfully unaware of how much money we had. Mom and Dad always focused on the experiences in life and the family relationships over material things. This is one of the values I'm most grateful for - and still carry with me to this day.
...in sickness and health. Without going into loads of detail, they have seen sickness. They have been there for each other when nobody else could be there. I saw this most clearly when I was in college. It was difficult on me to see them in pain, but each day only served to strengthen their marriage and make them depend on each other more.
...until death do us part. Marriage for them has never been questioned. It is an eternal and lasting commitment. They are fiercely dedicated above all else first to God, and then to each other. Never once did I hear them mention or joke about not being together forever...and they are living testaments to this fact.
I love my parents dearly, and I know they love me back. But I also know, and have known my whole life, that they love each other greatly. I cannot express how thankful I am to have seen their example my whole life, knowing it has strengthened my marriage today - and will continue to do so forever.
I love you, Mom and Dad! Happy anniversary!