Forty-Five Years

Forty-five years.

Today my parents celebrate the anniversary of the date they chose and made vows to commit to walking through life together.

That is a long time to be married to someone. To live with through better or worse, sickness and health, rich or poor. Children and more children and grandchildren and more grandchildren. So many grandchildren.

Forty-five years.

That is almost as long as I have been alive. I got to witness and experience most of their married journey firsthand. There was a prequel that I was not privy to. A long, long prequel that I was not a part of other than maybe a fantasy. A dream. A dream beginning to come true.

Forty-five years.

It has not been a fairy tale. I won’t pretend that it was sunshine and roses and laughter and joy all of the time. Sometimes it was yelling and scary and stressful. Living with another person is stressful. Living with another person and seven more littler people is really hard. And stressful.

Don’t let pretty blogs and books and reality TV shows with big happy families tell you otherwise. Unedited life is messy. Redemption is strange and painful and beautiful and messy.

Forty-five years.

I know that I have only done twenty-two years with the same person and eight others behind and now a son-in-law (but none of those grandchildren, yet). It’s hard. I am in the deep trenches having grown some of my kids while still growing others. It’s painful and glorious and so, so hard.

My dad tells me I remember too much. Because I do remember. A lot of things. My kids remember a lot of things. Too many things. And there is probably a lot that they don’t remember that has been covered by grace or that will be remembered when the time is necessary and right.

Forty-five years.

My parents aren’t perfect. They don’t have a magical marriage with a secret formula other than a strong commitment to God, a commitment to the vows they took, and a commitment to each other and to growth.

Forty-five years.

I have watched them grow in grace, in love, in beauty.

I have witnessed times when I thought, What the heck is this? Who wants this? What’s going on here?

I have witnessed them learn to communicate honestly. To struggle through hard places together. To face the reality of disillusionment and shattered dreams and of opening to something better. To grace.

Forty-five years.

It’s a beautiful thing. Not just in an Isn’t it sweet to see people of a certain age staying together for a lifetime, holding hands, still in love! kind of way, but in an Isn’t it hopeful to see people who are broken and in need of grace choosing to love one another through every season of life and risk honest growth and redemption by choosing to face pain and hurt honestly with the love that Jesus has given to them kind of one.

Forty-five years.

What a legacy of love and of hope and of encouragement that the best truly can be yet to come, if we allow it to and give it a chance.

Thanks, Mom and Dad, for your beautiful example. I love you both so much. Happy Anniversary!

3 thoughts on “Forty-Five Years

  1. Fern Meisssner

    This is your grandma, Juiie. A lovely tribute. Now try going on 67. It is a journey of love, one day at a time. Have a lovely week. Grandma M.

    Reply

Thanks for heart-composting with me! I appreciate your words.