Today is our 33rd wedding anniversary. In 1975, we were kids, 19 and 23, feeling grown and certain about life. We fit into no mold, were both exceptionally creative and complex. None of our friends were getting married in those days. We got married on a Thursday in the late morning at Relay Chapel in Maryland. My Dad and Father Frank presided at the wedding. Jimmy Owens sang, "I second that Emotion", acapella and Jerry and Peg Cohee played guitar and recorder for our procession and recession. Our friend Craig came in a tie and overalls and someone's dog wandered in during the ceremony. Mark's brother Phil read John Donne. Our daughters, looking at the pictures call it "their hippie wedding."
In all the years since, and all the challenges we have had, one thing I know for certain - that was the single best thing I ever, ever did. Nothing has ever made me doubt that. In fact, as the years have gone by, I wonder how I could have been so smart about him when I was so dumb about so much else. Mark and I married 11 months after we met. I think both of us knew very quickly that we belonged together, that we loved each other and that we were just silly, quirky and creative enough together, to face the coming days with some grace. How did we know? And where does that grace come from?
I think the simple answer is that both of those are gifts from God. Like all gifts they can be opened and used, celebrated and cherished or tucked away. I guess I was so grateful for Mark that I never wanted to tuck anything away. I knew how incomplete I was without him. I cherish every minute we have had, and look with great hope for our years to come.
Marriage is a mystery after all these years. God has blessed us with three incredible daughters and incredible memories. We may not be wealthy but we are abundantly rich in blessings - friends, family, love and laughter. Our relationship is a gift, a mystery, a sign and symbol of God's presence and blessing with us. Never to be taken for granted, always to be cherished. When the days have been dark, he's been there for me. When illness struck, we held each other close.
May God bless our coming days and help us to be a witness to God's love in our lives. From foolish young adults to gratefully foolish middle aged people, God has made a way for us, blessing us with laughter and forgiveness. May God enfold each of us today, with that mysterious constancy of love - which is so undeserved and so necessary for our lives.