Sixty years. Today is my parents’ anniversary. Sixty years of marriage.
I love the picture below of them; I love the joy in my mom’s expression. What a lifetime lay before them: five children, countless adventures. Probably a hundred Chesapeake Retriever dogs. Elk hunting trips, parties. Mom as President of the Symphony. Dad establishing a legacy as a builder. Mom leading Bible Study Fellowship as a lecturer.
So much laughter, so many tears…so many stories cover those 60 years.
I wish Mom could remember them all. I wish she knew in this moment what a wonderful life she has led. I wish she knew how loved she has been, and how many care about her.
I hope that there is some awareness, I hope she knows in some way that she is loved. I think there is some awareness of the tenderness around her. Some comfort in being surrounded by laughter still, and by stories.
This is not what my Dad imagined for his future. This is what it is though, and he has continued to love my Mom well. He has continued to give us an example of love that doesn’t stop when things are difficult. He has continued to see God in the midst of this life, and we are the richer for that. There is a bonding that happens in suffering that cannot happen in blessing.
I’m thankful for the memories we hold as a family. Maybe that is why I keep opening this blog and recording these thoughts; holding these memories in place so they are here if I begin to forget.
We snap our pictures and have our life lived out on social media, creating a journal of sorts. Registering our thoughts and our events and the things that are important…and yet, there is need for more reflection. For more than the quick thought and the perfect image. We need room for the things that take the rug out from under us. Room for those things to settle and for our hearts and emotions to meet with our mind, for us to find where God is working in the midst of it all. We need to take the time away from the celebratory social media postings to hear and see what God is doing.
That gives us the foundation for what might come.
I know that life may not play out as I imagine. I know there are things ahead which will be wonderful, and things ahead which will be difficult. There is great comfort in knowing that I walk this life with those who love well. There is great comfort in knowing that I walk this life in the care of a God who is Sovereign. One who sees beyond the moment we are caught in, and knows how it will all fit together.
Trust to God to weave your little thread into the great web, though the pattern shows it not yet. – George MacDonald
Sixty years. Worth celebrating and worth recognizing. Even when it is difficult and not exactly what was hoped for. Still an amazing life together.