“Time and tides, wait for no man”
In another month, my wife and I will celebrate our fifty first wedding anniversary. Wow, where did the time go? Seems like it hasn’t been that long since she at eighteen and I at twenty two, tied the knot and struck out on our journey together. It was not easy, but most things worthwhile never are. I remember telling my dad that we wanted to get married and he said “You’re old enough. You don’t need my permission”. I replied “I’m not asking for your permission. I’m asking for your blessing”. He then said, “So you have decided that you are ready?” I said “Well, we’d like to try it”. Wrong answer. My dad, in no uncertain terms reminded me that you “Do not try marriage. It is a life long commitment”. And that is how we entered into our union.
I look around me today and ask myself “what happened”. When did the vows exchanged become so frivolous. When did they translate to “Til death do us part, or whatever”? Time it seems has eroded tradition. Love has been redefined as “an emotional and spiritual bond between two people until such time as it is no longer convenient”. It then becomes a victim of our remove and replace society. No one tries to fix anything anymore. It is so much easier to discard it in favor of something new. It seems the sense of responsibility to someone else is subordinate to our love of self. Two “me’s” in a marriage never become one “us”.
More recently, we have become much more aware of the gay community, and their desire to marry. I’m sure my folks never saw that one coming. I have many gay friends. Most I am aware of, and I am sure there are some I am not. Makes no difference. It’s not mine to judge their lifestyle. I will admit I have probably spent too many years defining “marriage” as a union between a man and a woman to ever change. But in reflecting on the whole issue, I want them to be able to share love and be exposed to all the opportunities enjoyed by a heterosexual couple. I’m just hung up on the word marriage. No more. No less.
But life goes on. What we are now has a lot to do with what we were then. Our values are pretty much those of our parents and theirs of their parents before them. But like Charles Darwin once said. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change”. With that in mind, we have decided to hold on for another few years, acknowledging if not completely accepting change. But, as we have always done, we will continue to fix the things that break. It’s worked pretty well for fifty one years.
Postscript: This is a reblog from two years ago. We were just blessed with completing our fifty third year.