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
Daddy and I were very blessed to have had two sweet daughters that have brought us such joy. Jennie, thank you for this loving tribute to Daddy and me. We were lucky to have met in high school and 7 1/2 years later to be married. I cannot imagine my life without him in it. He has always been my best friend. We truly love and respect one another and that has made all the difference. Thank you again for this loving tribute.