In the snowy little community of Snover, Michigan, I was getting ready to be married 37 years ago today. Paul and I each had our last minute responsibilities, but we were also keeping an eye on the weather. There was snow in the forecast and howling winds that sent the temperature into the single digits. We were concerned for our guests. Inside the little country church, the ladies cooking for our reception had arrived, and I was getting dressed in my wedding gown. Guests had started to arrive and the photographer began snapping pictures of me with my parents. There are moments of my wedding day that still stand out in my mind, and the memories are frozen like the frame of a movie.
I stepped from the hall into the sanctuary and saw Paul at the front of the church waiting for me. He had been waiting a while since our minister was late. When he saw me, he smiled, and I was relieved that things were back on schedule. I think back on that smile, and hope Paul will keep smiling as he waits for me more often when, in my twilight years, I begin to slow down. He still waits while I tend to the last details before leaving the house, and while I run the curling iron through my hair. There have been 37 years of waiting, compromise, unity, and blessing, between us. We can predict each others' thoughts sometimes, or make the same comment at the same time.
Not enough is said these days about what it is like being married to the same person for a long time. It's nice. Paul knows I like my oatmeal with brown sugar; I know he likes his with white. He knows I need cold sheets at night and I know to turn on his side of the warming blanket. As American journalist Mignon Mclaughlin once said, "A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person." We have laughed ourselves silly over little things, and held each other close and cried over the big things.
The making of a marriage history takes time. Given enough time, there are many events that draw couples closer together, including having children. No one shares that history as intimately as a spouse. We'll probably talk about that at some point this evening as we celebrate this anniversary. We plan to go out tonight for one of our favorite dates. We are going to walk around Lowes and dream. I like to stand in front of the paint colors and pick out the pretty ones that catch my eye. Paul likes looking at tools. We'll be together and have some laughs, and probably end our evening by praying that, by God's grace, we will celebrate again this time next year.
There is no more lovely, friendly and charming relationship, communion or company than a good marriage. ~ Martin Luther
Married couples who love each other tell each other a thousand things without talking. ~Chinese Proverb