Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day three of Sea Day Trilogy 12/27/2012 - Anniversary

Today is the last at sea before Kangaroo Island. It is also our 42nd anniversary. One of my favorite editorials was written by Ellen Goodman and published on a Valentine’s Day. It is about the eternal romantics who see no further than what Goodman refers to as the “getting stage” of a relationship. She comments on how few think about what happens after the “I do”, the time a relationship is truly tested. She concludes that true love is not to be found in the initial stages but in the times that follow, working through the everyday complexity of life while furthering friendship and trust.

I must say that I remember with fondness the “getting stage” for Jon and me; the night we met on a blind date; the parties at the AE Phi and TEP sorority and fraternity houses; the trips back and forth on the turnpike between Denver and Boulder; the nightly phone calls; how Jon came to visit in Houston for Thanksgiving because etiquette required that the man first call on the woman’s family and how before I could visit Minneapolis during our winter break, I had to buy gray gloves to match the gray suit I was taking with me.
I remember the night in May when both of our parents were in Denver and we became engaged, the beautiful engagement party that Jon’s parents gave in Minneapolis and all the events surrounding our wedding. After a honeymoon in Acapulco we lived six months in Denver so we could both
complete the last semester of college. Those were wonderful times, full of fun and little responsibility. Then one June day, we made the trip to Minneapolis and as Ellen Goodman relates, the reality of our marriage began.

An increasing number of years of marriage requires a lot of mazel, or luck, the ability to talk things through, a commonality of basic values and a commitment on the part of two people to do the hard work that makes a marriage work. If you have these, marriage can be a wonderful thing.

Yes, you share the sad times, arguments, compromises, illnesses, losses and the agonizing over making correct decisions. But you also share the happy times, laughs, fun times with friends, holidays with family, wonderful travels, pride in each other’s accomplishments, the birth of your children and as my father would say, the times “you are busting your buttons” as you watch them grow and accomplish more and more on their own. You get past the years when they think you know nothing to the time when they become your friends and you have the special privilege of being the grandparents of their children.

Throughout it all you have the joy of being in each others company, of celebrating life cycle events, of truly knowing each other and building and sharing a life together. Ellen Goodman would claim that this is the best “stage” of all. On this our anniversary day, we would agree and feel very blessed.

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