When I mention to my friends that Bill and I will celebrate our 13th anniversary this summer, they regard me with what I perceive as a mix of reverence and awe. Thirteen years of marriage? How can that be possible anymore, when most relationships only last as long as it takes to post a status update or send a text?
I find this reaction bemusing and my typical response is something like this: “Thirteen years is just the beginning. Wait until I’ve been married as long as my parents.”
Today my parents celebrate their 40th anniversary (they’ve been together 47 years). When I think back on my childhood, I consider myself truly blessed to have had parents who loved each other and had a strong marriage. So many of my friends didn’t have parents who were married anymore, and of those who did, a large number of them were pawns in their parents relationship issues. More than one person I knew was so affected by their parents’ divorce that it completely changed their personalities. I took my family for granted at the time; it wasn’t until I had my first legal job working for a divorce attorney that I realized how privileged I was to have parents who still honor and cherish each other.
Of all the gifts my parents have given me, the example of their marriage is the one I treasure most. Anything I’ve learned about love, respect, sacrifice and support has come from them. I told my mother earlier in a text message that I feel she and my dad are such an amazing example to other young people and this is what she sent me:
I don’t know what kind of example we are. We just love and trust in each other and have had a lot of help from God.
I know I could have never had a better example than that.
Happy 40th anniversary Mama and Daddy! We love you! xoxooxoxoxo