Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy 25th Anniversary, Jorge!

June 14, 1985-June 14, 2010 ~ 25 Years!

Yes, today is my 25th wedding anniversary. I married my high school friend, my college sweetheart. He was a wonderful young man who grew into someone even more wonderful over the years. We have weathered a lot together. We look forward to a future together and talk about that almost daily.

I smile when I look back on this date, how 25 years later we would not only still be together but be parents of two adults and one almost-adult child. Of course, they will always be "children" to us, but my goodness, how Time and Life have marched swiftly from then until now. Unbelievable.

Thank you, Jorge, for putting up with me, all of my illnesses, selfishness, narcissism, immature faith and annoying habits, like clearing my throat. I'm sorry for all the times I've failed you. Thank you for loving me anyway. Thank you for always encouraging me. I do not deserve you.

And you're still hot, by the way. Prettiest green eyes in the world, best sense of humor, smartest person I know, best male body of our graduating class, best male body of anybody I know now. You make me so happy. I love you!

This is a newspaper column published in 1997. I'd like to share it again, with an updated title.

Happy 25th, George!

On June 15, 1985, I was a college graduate of three weeks and a bride of 24 hours. I remember languishing poolside in Floridian bliss, humming along to Tears for Fears' Everybody Wants to Rule the World, while sipping a cold drink and exchanging smiles with my bridegroom. I didn't want to rule the world exactly, but I did have big plans for my new married life.

When I hear the song now, I smile at the irony of the first line: "Welcome to your life; there's no turning back ... ." At 22, what did I know about a commitment to care forever -- no turning back?

Occasionally, I wish I could return to June 14, 1985, and meet myself as a young bride at the back of the church. I'd whisper candidly to the young me about my expectations versus the reality of the years ahead. If you had asked me then if I understood the scope and weight of my vows, I would have said yes, but I didn't really.

Being in love didn't prepare me for those first grocery shopping ventures, when I plopped favorites into the cart and he promptly removed them. I didn't know that without due warning he would change my radio stations. Who knew we'd spend 25 years disagreeing about how to mow the lawn? And how could I have known that he had a sleeping disorder? Or (and this still puts a chill up my spine) that we would have kids with sleeping disorders?

I didn't understand that he couldn't be "everything" for me. After all, he was the love of my life, with emphasis on "my."

And that poor bridegroom -- he didn't know the half of his bride's self-centered capacities. He didn't know his fun-loving girlfriend would be so uptight about clothes on the floor and dust on ceiling fans. How could an affectionate girlfriend neglect to meet her husband when he walked through the door after work each night? And how did she manage to break so many things weekly? Imagine his confusion about a wife who six months into marriage began daily afternoon naps that merged into nights. Had he married a narcoleptic?

No, the power naps were due to the hormonal changes of pregnancy, and he would be a dad in only his second year of marriage.

Who knew?

God did. He knew we would go through seasons of joy alternated with frustration, depression, family deaths, disappointment in each other and in ourselves. But by the grace of God who remained faithful to us when our commitment lagged, and through the support of church family and friends, we stand together 25 years later.

Ecclesiastes 4:12 says, "Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken"(NIV).

Three strands: God, my husband, and me.

At times, the cord frayed, but it didn't break, because ultimately, we love God and value who we are as a couple and a family more than we love our individual selves-- not because we're noble or martyrs, but because God's spirit in us "grew" this counter-human commitment to something bigger than ourselves as individuals.

Based on statistics, it's a safe bet that without positioning our marriage and family on his principles and grace, we wouldn't be together today.

A line in the aforementioned songs says, "There's a room where the light won't find you/holding hands while the walls come tumbling down/When they do I'll be right behind you..." In the tropical sun of 1985, I wouldn't have believed that darkness could ever threaten us. But by banding together when darkness came and walls fell, we defended each other when one was weaker. And when we were both tired, our anchor strand was strong enough to get us through.

I am not as naive about life and expectations anymore. I do know that when my husband is pushed, I'll be right behind him, supporting him. When walls tumble, I'll be right beside him, holding his hand.

And even if I could time travel and enlighten myself about the triumphs and trials to come, I'd trust in the outstretched hand of my bridegroom at the altar, squish my puffy dress through the vestibule, and confidently meet him there -- no turning back.

Copyright Linda Crow. Previously published in the Muncie Star Press, June 16, 2007.


bensrib said...

Congratulations to you both! Ben and I got married in 1984—what was up with the puffy-sleeved wedding dresses? Mine was the same!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your 25th!

SusanD said...

Oh Lid, This is such a wonderfully worded testimony to a marriage founded and persevered through God's grace. Thank you so much for sharing this. Happy Anniversary and blessings to you and Jorge. SusanD

Joyce said...

Happy Anniversary! We celebrate #26 on Wednesday...I love the photos. Mine are similar except I was a brunette : )

noexcuses said...

Happy Anniversary! Your words are touching and filled with love. I wish you everything in the years to come!

Amy@My Front Porch said...

Happy anniversary! What a great article you wrote! And I love seeing the wedding pictures :)

Chris said...

Happy Anniversary! LOVED your words...the three links: God, husband and it gal. So blessed by you and your Jorge!

Debbie said...

Happy Anniversary!!! Enjoy the silver as you push toward the gold!

Mrs. E said...

Happy Anniversary! The years do fly, don't they? Thanks for sharing the wedding day pictures. Your only job for the day- kiss the boy!

lailani said...

Congratulations and this post was beautiful. So true about having no idea the weight of the committment and the grace and strength from God...Have a great day! Oh, and greet Jorge at the door today :) hehe

The Bug said...

It'll be our 20th in December (we started a little late). We didn't do the unity candle for fear that we'd catch each other on fire. For the same reason there were no candles anywhere near us. We're kind of klutzy.

Last night, in the wee hours, I was having a bit of a "moment" about my husband. He had annoyed me GREATLY before bed & I woke up in the night & stewed about it. But, you know, I would never wish him to not be in the bed beside me. I just might need to kick him "accidentally" sometimes.

Beth in NC said...

What a wonderful post! Girl, you and I had the same hairstyle when we married. Ha. Gotta love the 80's and perms.

We are on your heels. We will be celebrating our 21st anniversary this November.

Congratulations on such a wonderful accomplishment this day and time.

May God bless the next 25 years!


lilynbreeze said...

Linda, beautifully written! You are blessed!! Enjoy your day!

Rebecca Jo said...

25... that is awesome!

I'm loving the pictures! Dont know if I couldnt stop staring at your dress or the all white tux the most! :) It looked like a beautiful wedding though!

Mocha with Linda said...

Happy Anniversary, Lid! What a precious tribute to your man and to God's hand in your marriage, both the post and the article. Here's to 25 more years!

Susanne said...

Happy Happy Anniversary to you both! What a beautiful post you've written about marriage in general and what a lovely example you two are to committement and grace and what love really is.

So are you doing something special to celebrate this milestone anniversary?

PJ said...

What a beautiful tribute!! Both times! And congratulations! Happy Anniversary!

Kathy said...

Congratulations! My eyes are misty, but you have given me a smile for the day. Thanks for sharing!

Lori said...

Thanks so much for sharing this and honoring your marriage and husband in the process. Happy Silver Wedding Anniversary!

SweetB said...

Congratulations! I love the article!

Just Breathe said...

Congratulations & Happy Anniversary

zookeeperjess said...

Seriously teary eyed over here! How wonderful, 25 years!

My husband and I have been together since we were 12. Over half our lives and I know that we will be celebrating our 25th and 50th together one day as well.

Thank you for sharing this post and Happy 25th Anniversary!!!

Gayle @ thewestiecrew said...

What GORGEOUS wedding pictures!!

And I love your tribute, as well. So much to learn from. :)

Happy Anniversary, Lid!!

SouthLakesMom said...

How sweet and young you both look in the wedding photos. There's a good reason you can't meet that bride in the back of the church and whisper in her ear. Learning to live with one another is hard, but the overcoming of selfishness (for me an hour to hour experience some days) is part of the journey that makes life worth living.

Congratulations, Lid. I'd say that at 25 years and 3 almost adult children, you're doing great at doing life together!

Yea, God!

Betty said...

Congratulations Linda!! Such a special milestone. Will you be celebrating? I hope you do, it´s worth a party. :)

Lea said...

What an enjoyable entry and did love the photos! Kudos to you on 25 years. We just celebrated 39 and I can't believe it! Abundant blessings to you and I look forward to the Random Dozen in July!

Cathy said...

Happy Anniversary and I so loved learning more about you!

Melanie said...

Happy 25th! Wonderful article.

Deb said...

Happy 25th! Thanks for sharing your testimony of love, faith & marriage.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

Congratulations....whata great story....We celebrated our 38th last week....How could that be when I think I am only 38?

LynnMarie said...

Congratulations on 25 years of marriage. That is something that we don't hear a lot of these days. A great example for your kids.
I will be celebrating my 38th July 1st! Yes, Time sure does flt!!

Dawn said...

Congrats Lid! I love your wedding dress by the way! It is so pretty!

Cae ♥