Friday, August 6, 2010

What I have learned after 25 years of marriage:

Recently my parents celebrated 26 years of marrige. In honor of a love that stands the test of time I wanted to share the story I wrote for them....

The story begins on an ordinary day in April, the year was 1984 and the world was smiling. Below is the story of 25 years of marriage between two people, in my own words. I am not a member of the couple but merely a passenger on their journey through life.

Bob Porter and Anne Wilson met at work and their short courtship (I think 6 weeks actually) began with a “dare”. There lives had a similar start but God had sent them on two very different journeys in preparation for their lives together. Both had been epically wounded in the past and had made it through the clean up and were well on their way to a better place in life. Both had children: him 2 boys and her 1 daughter. This is where my details start to become fuzzy. I was merely 6 years old at the time, so I am not sure what “drew them” to each other but they decided that their lives (as well as their children’s) would benefit greatly with the addition of the other. He proposed with a diamond ring and she said yes. They set a date of June 12th of that same year and decided to have the nuptials at a local state park.

The weeks leading up to the wedding were crazy, he was admitted to the hospital with a blood clot and she broke her arm. Outfits were adjusted and sleeves were let out. His two son's were the two “Best Men”, and her one daughter was the “Maid of Honor” . It was such a gorgeous day, it wasn’t too hot and everyone was elated. Bob wore a white short sleeve button down (as did both Best Men) with Chocolate colored, Western dress pants along with cowboy boots and a shiny belt buckle. Anne wore an Ecru colored dress (as did the Maid of Honor) delicately made by her mother, along with her Ecru colored cast and off white sling back pumps. They were married at the top of a bridge with family and friends silently blessing their union.

The air was full of excitement and I could barely contain myself. God had given me a Daddy. No I couldn’t name him Mike and he couldn’t sing like Kenny Rogers but he loved me and my Mama, and that took the cake.

They followed each other around as their careers took them all over, by the time I graduated from high school I had been to 12 different schools (in 1st grade alone I went to 3 different schools). It always seemed like they were constantly struggling, almost as if it was all a test. The road was lined with roadblock after roadblock, they couldn’t catch a break…but you would have never known it. Sure they may have argued, fought even, but the love was always there. There were trials with family illnesses, family issues, family deaths, and poverty but they always pushed through, together. They both have been very ill in the past and have had several surgeries and have both been there to care of each other; a real test of “For Better or for Worse”. There were times that were spent waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop, it felt like there was no other way out but separately, but it never happened. Lesser couples would have gone their separate ways, eons ago, willingly.

There lives may not have been what fairytales are made of, but it will be the story that I will tell my children and grandchildren. The story of a real marriage: a marriage that defines love, adoration, and companionship. For some it may seem that 25 years is just the beginning, Golden and Diamond Anniversaries are the ones that show longevity but I feel in this world a marriage that stands the test of time needs to be celebrated.

On the eve of my own wedding day my grandmother sat me down and talked with me about marriage and gave me these wise words of advice. “It’s not easy. A marriage needs work; it’s like a garden, you have to tend to it.” And when asked about marriage my Mama can be quoted as saying, ”You have to be willing to love each other for who you were, who you are, and who you will be.” It is obvious when I look back over the past 25 years that my parents lived these words, they are not who they were 25 years ago and aren’t who they will be 25 years from now and they simply couldn’t be happier.

So here’s to you, Bob and Anne Porter. Congratulations on 25 years of marriage. Thank you for showing me that a marriage isn’t just about the love that you have for another person but the commitment and respect that you have for one another and the lives that you have built together.

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