In a comical turn of events, we find we now share our Wedding Anniversary with a Royal couple. Beyond the fact that we watched the event unfold, including that astonishing message from Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry, this day taught us both something significant.
Eleven years is an important milestone for us in that we find ourselves simply enjoying each other. There is much humour about the way we do life, and a great deal of companionship.
The words my wife wrote in the card she gave me simply indicated that her life hadn’t been the same since I came into it, and her life wouldn’t be the same if we were apart. The card was marked with gratitude, and it evoked a visceral response. In the simplest terms, there’s no need to gush about how much we love each other. Our love is solid enough that we’re just grateful that we have each other.
Being eleven years in front of some Royal couple is no real achievement other than we’re enjoying the fruit of our labour (it took a few years before we could even work together in marriage).
And even if we’ve worked well together for most of our marriage, the stresses of years six through nine are now well behind us. We’re both happy as individuals, and the marriage has matured in that we don’t expect too much of each other.
As we watched the Royal Wedding it was interesting to see how my heart has changed. There was once a time when I would have mocked such an occasion. But my wife (like many women and men) enjoys these sorts of telecasts, and doesn’t she deserve more than my derision?
We’d planned to do something special for our Anniversary, but several factors coming together in the days leading up convinced us that this was not the year for a big celebration. The big day out became unattractive when we were invited to three separate other events that were about loving others. That’s more important to us these days.
Days beforehand it was clear our five-year-old son wanted to be with us when we were quite happy to have him babysat. The babysitting proved impractical, however, so we accepted that God had different plans for our celebration – at home with a Chinese takeaway meal watching the Royal Wedding instead of dinner out, movie, and night to ourselves.
But it was the best of days really. I worked from 5.30am in my part-time maintenance work and then arrived in time to assist my son’s school who were having a busy bee. I moved about 50 wheelbarrow loads of sand, dirt and mulch. I was sore! But content. My wife helped for a while with my son, and then they went to one of our son’s peer’s birthday party. Both my wife and I were busy today building relationships in the area God has called us to live and serve. It’s all we want to do. We then went and took our Anniversary portrait, even having to modify our plan for it, given that special equipment was missing.
We figure that married life must be intended to be a contented experience of enjoying each day enough to be grateful, being thankful to God for every minute of time spent together, being with and helping the other.