63 years and counting….
Marriage is not a ” stand alone ” , not just an event, not ” this is how it’s gonna be forever “. Marriage is a journey, and like all journeys, there are twists and turns, mountains and valleys, bumps and slips, stops and goes.
ACT 1 : Lots of hormones. Enough said !!!! That’s the fun part, the honeymoon part, the ” Isn’t she/he just simply the best ? ” part. There’s nothing quite like it : the high, the magic, the thrill, the expectations.
Reminds me a little of the first new car. Everything is new and close to perfect. And it lasts awhile. But then comes the next Act.
ACT 2 : A touch of reality. He/she really is not perfect, just human. He’s an early riser/she’s not. He’s sloppy/she’s meticulous. He’s a nerd/she’s an athlete. He’s a morning person/ she’s an afternoon person. He’s focused/ she’s spacey. He eats too much/ she fusses. He’s reserved/ she’s outgoing——and on and on and on. So many ups and too many downs . But, best case scenario, perseverance prevails. And then on to Act 3.
ACT 3 : 40s and 50s ( give or take ) . Distractions : children or no children ; climbing the career ladder ; giving back to the community that gave to them ; diversity of interests ; boredom ; conflicts of politics, faith, and general life goals. BUT, steadfastness, acceptance, understanding——-and focus on what is truly important : the relationship itself, the durability of love and loyalty. Forward to Act 4.
ACT 4 : Winding down . Empty nest, retirement ( or semi-retirement ) , financial security ( with a lot of luck and careful planning ), freedom from outside ” pulls ” , travel (perhaps), and , if lucky, a covey of grandchildren . But, best of all, getting to know each other again. Perhaps not the ” magic” but an appreciation for the journey , for the strength of the relationship, and FOR EACH OTHER. But the curtain has not yet fallen. There’s still Act 5.
ACT 5 : Destination . The finale, the culmination, the ” Thanks -be-to-God ” ……. surely the purest and truest of all. The storms have been weathered and the calm, appreciated . It’s been a long and often tedious ride , filled with anticipation and acceptance , and the journey is reaching its destination. Love and endurance and toleration and determination have remained the driving forces , and it has been proven …..and proven…..and proven ….. that “the greatest of these is LOVE ” !
For sure the curtain call. And my mother’s favorite perhaps sums it up :
GOD GAVE THE WISE MEN THEIR WISDOM
AND TO THE POETS, THEIR DREAMS.
OUR FATHER AND MOTHER, THEIR LOVE FOR EACH OTHER
AND THEY ALL HAD A SHARE THEN IT SEEMS.
AND I THOUGHT THAT I WAS FORGOTTEN,
THAT LIFE WAS AN EMPTY AFFAIR.
THEN MY DREAM CAME TRUE.
GOD GAVE ME YOU.
AND I KNOW I GOT MORE THAN MY SHARE.
( Author unknown )