On the occasion of my grandparent’s 50th anniversary many years ago, my family gathered with my aunts, uncles and cousins for a meal to celebrate. My grandfather, an eloquent speaker, said two things about my grandmother that I haven’t forgotten.
The first he said with a smile: “ I know the secret for a happy marriage—just take this advice. Your grandmother and I made a pact fifty years ago: that she would make the many small decisions, and I would make the few big decisions. Fifty years later, I am happy to report that arrangement has worked very well. Of course, I am still waiting to make my first big decision. “
The second was straight from the heart: “I met Virginia almost fifty one years ago, fell in love, got married, and have been falling in love ever since. “
On June 14 Diane and I will celebrate our 27th anniversary, having raised four children, the youngest of which graduated from high school last weekend. We met in August as first year teachers at Montgomery Catholic High School in 1985—she a biology and Math teacher, and I, a theology and English teacher. Within months, we fell in love and married that June.
I’ve been falling in love with her ever since.
Fr. Bevans was right, though. When he presided over our marriage, he said that marrying someone is like buying a house. On the one hand, it’s your house. But in a very real way, it’s not yet your house, as there is still a mortgage. Over years of growing together, stumbling, raising kids, cheering at ball games, worrying, laughing--through periods of joy and sorr0w, romance and distance--we’ve come to better understand this “already but not yet” quality to the vows we made with such confidence 27 years ago.
I’m looking forward to the next 27.