They were small beginnings. On this sunny morning thirty-two years ago, he picked me up and we drove to the ticket office in the Springfield Mall to buy tickets to see Roxy Music at the Tower for a show a month later. He took me home and I prepared for the day.
A very small wedding which cost about $100, a potluck reception at my sister’s house, a homemade cake and a white street-length wedding dress my Mom had recently sewed.
He carried me over the threshold of an ugly kitchen in an old house converted to apartments. He had just moved in too. We had finally both graduated art school, and as soon as he’d found a job washing dishes at Taylor Hospital and we’d found an apartment he could afford, we announced the wedding would be in six weeks.
We’d been unofficially and officially engaged for SIX YEARS. We wanted to start being married.
Jump forward 32 years, because that’s just how it feels. I cannot believe that much time has passed or that he or I are 32 years older. But we have six children whose ages won’t allow us to deny the passage of time.
It feels the same when we’re together, driving from somewhere to somewhere, as it did when we were teens. Except that I remember 32 years of stuff. Trials, illnesses, depressions, navigation through personality conflicts not ours, births, deaths, a period of unemployment…cosmic bewilderment leading to sounder trust and faith in One who has all in His hand.
Aside from gripping my hand through six labors and the many noteworthy and dramatic things he has done for me, there are the acts of everyday life which don’t announce themselves, the things done quietly and without struggle, the kindnesses planted in our mundane days til they intertwine and weave through the fabric and it’s just our life together.
I notice that the more I am burdened and tried, the more sound he becomes. As I am confronted again and again with challenges, I am also bombarded with sweet support and affection.
Such is our life at thirty-two years and counting.