So... today is my parents' 27th wedding anniversary. They're really quite amazing. They met on a blind date, got married young, raised two fairly obnoxious children, and are still making it look a whole lot easier than it really is. They've been through some rough times. Some of those tough times they made, some they didn't... but they made it through. That alone is worthy of admiration. But the fact that in the process they raised us to be willing and wanting to work as hard as they have on a relationship adds another layer of amazement to what they've done.
Beyond merely staying together, a marriage is soemthing that has the risk of ending without seperation. I truly believe that they have managed to stay married all these years because they truly love each other. They love each other to the point that they don't understand the concept of not loving each other. Sounds great... but that can bring problems of its own. When someone is that much a part of your life, you sometimes forget that they are there at all. You make desisions, confident that what's right for you is right for them, because they are part of you. Luckily, after sharing so much, you're usually right, but those times when you're wrong, it can hurt so much more. Not only do you hurt someone else, you hurt the part of you that is that person. A relationship that close takes so much work to get through the hard times, but the good times are so much better for the same reasons. You never have to worry about having someone to share your joy with. And joy is not something you can keep to yourself. The littlest things are expanded by sharing them. Finding the $5 bill on the sidewalk is a personal acheivement when you tell someone else. Finding a CD you really like is better when someone is there to be happy for your find... it doesn't matter if they couldn't be paid to listen to the music on the CD, they are still glad that you got it.
People often talk about taking things one day at a time. I think this is too much... take things in 10 minute bursts. When you look at it that way, it's almost impossible to have a bad day. Sleeping is good. There's a several dozen good things. A meal, even a mediocre one will fill in a couple of good chunks. And when something is bad, your ten minutes are over soon and you can move on.
Everything that I believe and everything I know to be true I owe to may parents on one level or another. Their good and bad times taught me that the bad is worthwhile because it makes the good even better, and that in the end, the bad is insignificant in proportion to the good. I love, and respect my parents more than I'll ever be able to tell them. My wish for them is that when they hit 30 years, and 40, and 50, and however far they go into the future, that they will be as passionate, determined, faithful and adventurous as they are today. I hope they always remember to see the bad things as spice for the meat that is the good.
JTE + PJE February 12, 1977