December 18, 1982 our wedding day. Just look at the picture, see the happy and extremely young couple, no cares, no fears, youth is on their side; if they only knew what the future held, would they have done "it" again. YES!
Just recently we celebrated 26 years, we are minus a few body parts, a few white hairs in my head, a lot of white hairs in my husbands, he still has freckles, my hair is a little shorter, I wear bifocals, both of us a few pounds more.
It is our "inner person" that has changed the most over the years. On our 25TH anniversary I pondered about how my thinking has changed over the years, in the beginning years I was focused on happiness, what will make me happy and what will make my husband happy. Often it seemed we worked against each other, we did not work together as a partnership, we treated the other as an enemy. We each were carrying our own burdens of childhood hurts and insecurities, which added to our ever growing list of resentment. We persevered, got counseling, prayed a lot; and most importantly we let go of the little hurting child that was still in us, and we allowed the Lord to get to work on us. The work would not be easy, once again life experiences like a child going off to war, elderly parents to care for, surgeries, grandchildren, cancer, the death of a parent, and all in rapid succession over the past 6 years. We have walked away from all of this with a profound sense of gratefulness for each other, a greater depth of love and a stronger bond. When I look at my husband my heart still flutters, he still excites me, he still makes me laugh at his silly jokes. We work in perfect synchronization like a well run clock.
Their was not a person in either of our families that thought our marriage would make it on the day we married, we had everything going against us; God thought differently.
About a week after my double mastectomy I was sitting on the edge of the bath tub trying to bathe my body without getting my upper body wet, it was tedious, time consuming, tiring. My husband walked in and looked at me, and with such tenderness, and with a few tears in his eyes, he said, "I wish I could take your place." I know he meant it. During that period of time he was perfect, he was gentle, quite, never hovered, he asked me what I needed him to do and then he did it, his light shined brilliantly. This is love, not a sugar coated love story, not an elaborate wedding, not an expensive ring, not enchantment with a centerfold body; but real in the trenches, travailing, persevering, patient, enduring, love.