"The heart of marriage is memories; and if the two of you happen to have the same ones and can savor your reruns, then your marriage is a gift from the gods." (Bill Cosby)
The picture is fuzzy, but it is the first moment of my married life. We got married in the little country church my husband's family attended. We still go to that church these many years later. That's where a lot of those shared memories that we can rerun happened as we got up every Sunday and went to church, first as a couple and then as a family when the children came along.
But of course, we have many other memories too. Working on the farm together. Figuring out how we were going to make ends meet when the refrigerator died or the car quit running. Nursing our kids through all the childhood fevers and illnesses. Sitting in countless church pews while Darrell sang with various Southern Gospel quartets through the years. Building a house and then building on more rooms. Watching ballgames. Freezing at track meets and band competitions. Being proud when our kids graduated high school and college. Sharing the ups and downs of a writer's life. Seeing our kids find good partners to begin their own married lives. Caring for our parents as they grew older. Grieving for loved ones who went on ahead of us. Feeling blessed each time a grandchild was born. Sharing family reunions and holidays. Celebrating anniversaries.
“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity. The order varies for any given year.” (Paul Sweeney)
We just celebrated one of those anniversaries yesterday. My romantic husband sent me flowers, but I had to laugh when I opened up the little card to read the note. All it said was "Dear." I guess when you've been married as long as we have, the words run out. What I really thought perhaps had happened is that the flower shop people got distracted and forgot to finish the note. But no, that wasn't it. My first comment about the words running out is closer to the truth. Darrell says he told them to put "Happy anniversary, dear." But the card already had Happy Anniversary printed on it, so all they needed to add was the dear. Made for a few smiles and who knows? Maybe another one of those memories that will get rerun at times.
Do you have some of those rerun memories? Stories that have been told a zillion times but one more telling is still fine. You know, like the day we went out to get a cow trying to have a calf to the barn and Darrell goes to the barn to call the cow from there and leaves me to head the cow that way. The cow was having none of it and decided to charge me instead. A bit bruised and battered later, I inform Darrell if he wants the cow in the barn he'll have to herd her there himself. So many stories. So many years. So many threads that make the fabric of our life together.
"Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years." (Simone Sigornet)
Thanks for reading and thank those of you who wished us Happy Anniversary yesterday. We even got a card in the mail from my 97 year old church friend, Loretta. She is an amazing woman who has five children of her own and heaven knows how many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, but she remembers our anniversary and my grandchildren. And on top of that she's one of those prayer warriors that unless you really want it to happen, you'd best not ask her to pray about it.
Remember, you still have time to leave a comment here to have a chance to win Jan Watson's books. New comments on a new post gets you a new entry. I'll draw for the winner on November 27. Also you can throw your name in the hat over on Thoughts of a Sojourner to win a copy of Christmas at Harmony Hill. Check out the rules Mark posts after his review of my book. Heather, Gideon and Sophrena are making the rounds on a blog tour now with Christmas at Harmony Hill. So the reviews will start showing up and I'll hope for good ones.