With all the statistics out there a marriage can look daunting, even a gamble. You hear it on talk shows, the average years a marriage last is… Or there are more divorce couples than married ones. It is like the article that touts the great benefits of eggs, the next one tells you to stay away from them. How about how great coffee can be for you in the 5 O’clock news and by the morning addition, you are warned to stay away from it. Good grief, if we listened to everything a statistic or news report told us we would never leave the house! Last week I witnessed three instances where love shined through with the years, instantly reminding me of just how well love can last.
My first was on Tuesday when I had the honor to officiate the renewal vows of a couple that was celebrating their twenty-fifth anniversary! Yes, twenty-five years later this couple was still so madly in love that they almost did not remember that the photographer, the limo chauffeur or myself were in the room. All through the ceremony they only had eyes for each other, giggled like they were in high school, and as a matter of fact couldn’t even keep there hands off each other!
My second encounter with deep love was a few days later on Saturday, while out with my husband at a restaurant. We were waiting to be seated and I watched a couple approach the front door, their years shone well into retirement and wedding rings grooved deep into their fingers. She walked just slightly ahead of him, limping, moving slowly with determination. My guess was a stroke some years before. What really caught my attention was her husband, just behind her, not trying to help, yet love and protection watched her every step. She reached for the door and he closed the short distance between them and finished pushing the door open for her, love pouring out of his eyes and his heart. I swear, I could see the intense energy pass between this couple that only love and years can create and I was touched to tears. I snuggled in close to my husband’s side and I know it will be like that for us when we reach our Golden anniversary.
The third encounter happened on Sunday. My husband and I have a favorite Sunday breakfast place, up in Oak Creek Canyon and I have seen many people come and go over the years on that outdoor breakfast patio. So many interactions, people from all over the world and yet this sweet old man put the final fire in me to prompt this sharing of deep love I witnessed in just one week. See, he came with a fairly large group and everyone was milling around the tables while they were brought together to accommodate the group of twelve. He busied himself with chatting with an acquaintance and when he finished most of his group had sat down and he grab the closest chair to him. Looking up I could see his eyes lock on the woman across from him, “I can sit over there.” “It’s okay,” her voice carried the short distance to our table. He puzzled this remark, still looking around and proceeded to get up and move slowly to her side of the table. She glanced to him, warmth and love in her eyes and he settled himself in with a quick nod, a smile and his face radiated like he won the biggest prize at the fair! See, his beloved sat just inched away on the other side of the table, and even though the years had worn well between them, the distance of sitting that ‘far’ away was just too much. It still brings a chuckle out of me to remember the look of love and that nod.
So, the next time a statistic wants to get in the way of your heart, shut off the TV, put down the paper and look across to your beloved, tell them why you fell in love with them. Surprise them with a date night, a weekend away, a box of chocolates…Well, you get the idea. They may be surprised and yet I think it is one of the secrets to keeping love and marriage thriving well into our Golden years!
Have a great week!!
Blessings ~ Rev. Shannadoah