Fifty years ago this week, two ordinary people did something extraordinary that is done all over the world with great ceremony, hoopla, tradition, and love: they got married.
Tied the knot.
Said their vows.
Were united as one.
Maybe getting married isn’t so extraordinary if everyone is doing it all over the place. What I mean is, I know marriage is a huge deal, and immensely important, but it happens a lot. What’s really extraordinary is when couples never undo what they did.
THAT’s the part that’s special.
My in-laws are celebrating fifty (Five-Oh) years of marriage this week.
Wow. These days, that’s like forever in marriage-years.
It makes me wonder -what keeps people married? Couples take a giant leap of faith and get married. They can’t possibly know what’s ahead for them. The massive jump into marriage can be terrifying, but it’s only the beginning. The small steps couples take along the way add up to the years.
THAT’S the part that’s scary.
A year can go by so fast, but so much happens. If you make more mis-steps in your marriage as time passes, that’s when couples start down the road of not making it. They realize they’d rather walk alone than be together.
As I type this, the LOML is working on the video that he’ll share at the celebration to honor his parents. (Oops! What I meant was the video was done weeks ago and he’s upstairs putting the finishing touches on the project. My bad.) Anyway -looking through all the photos, the thing that’s evident is how much fun his parents are having. Several shots show them throwing their heads back in laughter. If they both aren’t guffawing, one of them is, and the other is grinning knowing they made the other laugh.
Laughter has got to be a huge element of what keeps couples taking those small steps in sync with each other. I know I have the best time with the LOML; I’m enjoying the journey of marriage with him. Most of the little steps we take together are loads of fun.
Did the LOML pick up the ability to make the journey so much fun from his parents? He must have. I adore that about him, but that’s not all -he also is entirely steadfast, loyal, dedicated, and hard-working. He’s also low-maintenance and soooo doggone good-looking. (The looks had to come from his parents. That’s just how that works.) I know his personality is the cocktail of nature and nurture: he’s definitely a product of his up-bringing and I love him for it.
From this fifty-year-long-union came the best thing I’ve ever known, or will know, in my life. Sure, the Ms are beyond fantastic and miraculous, but without the LOML, they wouldn’t be here. It’s different.
Even if Oprah showed up on my front porch yelling “And YOU get a car!” and it was a Chip Foose, tricked out, dream machine that was autographed by Ellen Degeneres and George Clooney, and I could kiss my white minivan goodbye, it still wouldn’t be the best gift of my life. My in-laws gave me that already.
And it would just be a car. (DID I ACTUALLY JUST TYPE THAT?!?) The car would only be amazing and outstanding if the LOML and the rest of the Calandro Clan could create all of our adventures together in it. And we use the minivan for that already. It’s who’s along for the ride that makes the difference, not the mode that gets you there.
My in-laws have shown me the small steps you take in a marriage add up to a lifetime of love. I don’t know everything that happened in their marriage -no one ever knows that about anyone. I only know the parts I’ve seen and the product of their union that I live with every day.
I feel blessed to experience both.
Congratulations to my in-laws and to anyone else who is celebrating a marriage-milestone at this time of year. Blessings to you and yours. And when your steps together seem like they might not be as filled with fun or laughter as you think they should be, just make sure most of the trip finds you with smiles on your faces. It’s the joy along the way that makes the journey so much fun.