My mom and dad are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary this week. They have achieved something for which most people only dream. They have certainly set an example for others to follow through their commitment to each other and their dedication to God.
When they hit their 50th anniversary, we had a surprise event at the Full Gospel Pentecostal Church of God at Smith, Kentucky where they still pastor. With the help of friends, church, and family, we were able to create a surprise for them with a minister there to officiate for them as they renewed their vows, a wedding cake, flowers, and the whole shebang.
My mother was recovering from the removal of a kidney. During that surgery, her spleen was ruptured and an emergency removal of her spleen was necessary. We were all reeling from the surgery and recovery. We didn’t know if they would ever have another anniversary.
I had bought all of the goodies and markers to celebrate their 60th anniversary, with plans for another church celebration dinner. My brother, Tim, died unexpectedly in February and none of us were in a frame of mind for a big party a month later. That day passed quietly, and we wondered silently if they would hit another major year in celebrating anniversaries.
Here we are five years later with both of them still going strong. With 65 anniversaries to their credit, it is obvious that their age is increasing steadily with each passing year. I hope we make it to a 70 year anniversary and believe it is within reach. For now, we will be happy celebrating with them 65 years of a successful marriage.
If you asked them how they stayed together this long, I know they would credit their faith in God and working in ministry together all these years as the tie that has bound them together by love. They love God. They love each other. They love family, church, neighbors and friends. In 65 years together, they have seen a lot of marriages, births and deaths. The blessings have always outweighed the sorrows.
I wish for everyone the kind of love that has staying power. In the world we live in, people often get married with the thought in the back of their mind, “If it doesn’t work out, we can always get divorced.” With that seed already firmly planted in the mind of one or other of a couple, they have very little chance of making it together for the long haul.
People fall in love. People fall out of love. During the course of a marriage, I’m sure that there are cycles of love and passion. I’m pretty sure there are days when one spouse will still get butterflies when their mate walks through the door and days when they want to pinch their head off. Commitment to each other is what makes the difference.
In one of the final episodes of Downton Abbey, Mrs. Hughes said to her husband, Mr. Carson, that he was an old curmudgeon. He asked her if she had gone off of him (fell out of love). She smiled and indicated that she had not. “You’re my old curmudgeon.”
A friend recently told me that he and his wife couldn’t stand each other for an hour or so every once in a while. They have agree together that they will talk, fight, pray or whatever it takes to clear the air between them because, “We’re stuck together for life. We just agree to get over it and move on, and it is always something silly when we look back at it.”
My mom and dad know each other better than most couples ever do. They fell in love as teenagers, committed themselves to each other and the Lord, and knew they meant what they said, “Until death do us part…” A 65 year anniversary is certainly proof that they’ve each kept their end of the bargain.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.