Marriage Wows

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            Today is Mother’s Day 2021. And while this post has little to do with the holiday, the topic is related. I do want to thank Crystal, and mothers everywhere, for your dedication and service in the noblest of all causes. It should be Mother’s Month. Now on to today’s topic.

            No that’s not a misprinted title. There are times in every marriage where the only possible response is Wow. After 43 years there a few (which I feel at liberty to share), that stand out in my mind

            The first, of course, was our wedding day. I remember how I was totally relaxed, dressed and ready to marry Crystal. Then it happened. She walked down the aisle. She was as beautiful, more like a portrait than a real person. In her father’s arm, in her hand made (her mother made it) silken white dress, glistening with hundreds of hand sown beads.

            Suddenly, I was a little unsteady. Her sister later confronted me about my somber appearance. It’s not as if I hadn’t thought about that day, for well over a year. But seeing her at that moment, all of a sudden, the wow hit me. This was a permanent commitment, and all our friends and family, not to mention God, were watching. She finally got to me, and when she smiled and looked lovingly into my eyes, I knew it would be OK. Wow.

            The next day, we went on our honeymoon in Arizona. Wow! Enough said.

            The next few years, I hate to admit, had its share of ups and downs. Strangely enough, being married isn’t all bells and whistles, or fun and frolic, even when you think you are with your soul mate. There are family issues, money issues, work and commitment issues, communication issues, etc., etc., etc. Let’s just say it’s a learning and growing experience (not for the faint of heart). But you know even then, there were enough wow moments to make it all seem worthwhile. Many were small: like a walk in the wood, holding hands at the theater, having friends and family over to “our” apartment for food, and/or game night, etc., etc. etc.

            Then, just when some sense of calm seems to be returning, here come the kids. Possibly the greatest wow moment is after all the pain and suffering pregnancy (yes, I suffered too), 35 hours of labor, and a C-section birth, a new life enters the world. Wow!!!

            I had the privilege of carrying each of our three daughters out of the hospital. Proud, overjoyed, and yet somehow terrified would begin to describe it. Somehow, you carry this beautiful child and great new responsibility at the same time. It was a kind of flash back to the way I felt on our wedding day. WOW!

Over at least (Did I say at least?), the next eighteen years, you will be responsible for what you and your spouse have brought into the world. You will lose sleep, take care of them when sick, encourage when upset, praise whenever possible, and guide/discipline as needed. All that time, you have no real clue whether you are doing it right. The funny thing about parenting is, no matter how you choose to proceed, someone will tell you, ‘you are doing it wrong’. Wow.

As they grow and “mature”, at some point your children question you as well. They will be all too quick to let you know how they know better. You might see yourself in them, and at least briefly, feel sorry for your own parents. At some point, they finally get their chance. I still remember when one daughter asked, you mean you have to pay for water and trash pickup? What do taxes pay for? That’s one I still have a little trouble answering.

Eventually, kids will leave, and if you have done your job well, be responsible adults. Then the whole cycle begins anew. Eventually, there may be grandkids as well. At home that leaves just you and your spouse (a kid or grandkid on occasion). If you are OK with that, you are among the few lucky ones. I believe Crystal and I are. Wow!

First our wedding day, then our family.

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