At our wedding mass, during the homily, the priest stated that often times it was hard to stand and unite two people in marriage, knowing it most likely would not last; he was happy to celebrate our marriage because he knew we had a good chance of surviving. And he was so right. This past Wednesday, on the 26th of October we celebrated 15 years of wedded bliss.
Our life has had its share of ups and downs, good times and bad, but overall the past fifteen years have been the best of my life. After our marriage, we continued living with my parents. My Dad had health issues, and we were able to help them when needed. When my father-in-law started having health issues, we then decided to move in with him (and a brother-in-law). My husband had given himself so selflessly to my parents, never complaining; I knew it was my turn to step up to the plate. It was a difficult decision, and probably the most difficult time of our marriage, but I knew I had given my husband a gift - being with his father in his end years. My father-in-law passed away in 2005, my brother-in-law moved out of the house, and we were finally alone for the first time in our marriage.
Both my husband and I were older when we married...he was 40, I was 38. Many people thought we would have difficulty coming together: two people set in their ways, etc. Yet we surprised them all. I think our age worked for us. We both knew the grass was not greener on the other side. We had experienced life. And most importantly, we knew how fortunate we were in finding each other. We knew the precious gift we had been given.
We have traveled to many places, have seen many wonderful things, met some wonderful people. In November 2007, we retired and moved to Florida. We love our life and continue to grow together. We continually learn new things about each other, and we know the importance of communication. Some of the wisdom given to us during our Pre-cana teachings (Catholic pre-marriage counseling) has stayed with us. We learned that marriage is a circle, as symbolized by the wedding band; that negativity begets negativity, just as positivity begets positivity - it all flows together. We also learned that 'communication, communication, communication' is the key...and after 15 years, we are still working on that aspect of our marriage. We realized we often 'hear' each other speak, but we don't truly 'listen'. A work in progress.
Life continues to throw obstacles.The horrendous ordeal my family has struggled through the past two and half years. The two trials. The sentencing. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. My one niece is now living with my husband and I, so once again we are sharing our home. We feel that our gift is to give love and support to our family. We do so when we can. We feel that in giving, we receive.
Sadly, in January of this year, my beloved father passed away. I am dealing with his death as best I can. The grief comes and goes. As always, my husband is a constant source of love and comfort.
Our wedding day remains the best day of my life. And I am so happy that Monsignor Bob was right all those years ago...we did have a great chance of surviving, and God willing there will be many more reflections of love in the years to come.