There is a joke about a couple celebrating their 30th wedding anniversary . . . While cutting the cake, the wife was moved after seeing her husband’s eyes fill with tears. The wife took his arm, and looked at him affectionately. “I never knew you were so sentimental.” she whispered.
“No . . . No . . .” he said, choking back his tears, “That’s not it at all. Remember when your father found us in the barn and told me to either marry you or spend the next 30 years in jail?”
“Yes,” the wife replied. “I remember it like yesterday.”
“Well,” said the husband, “Today I would have be a free man.”
I thought I would remind the wife of this . . . Today is the 30th anniversary of our marriage to one another--the wife and I. It was thirty years ago on a hot sweltering afternoon in Lexington, Kentucky that the wife and I tied the knot. Ever since then it has been one wonderful--though at times stressful--adventure with one another in which we have stuck together through thick and thin, richer or poorer, sickness and health, and competing sports teams . . . plus four children! On our wedding day I doubt if either one of us ever imagined where marriage would take us thirty years down the road--we were just glad to be there with one another. The fact of the matter is, we still are.
The wife provides color to my world. Years ago when I got my first cell phone that actually allowed me to make my own ringtones I picked this song to identify the wife when she called:
Every time I hear the opening melody of the Rolling Stones' She's the Color of a Rainbow I am reminded of the wife. The wife tolerates my love of the Rolling Stones and that is one of the nice things about her--she not only tolerates my love of diverse music, but she tolerates me. That is a big undertaking and thus far she has survived it all. As you know, we who are introverts can be tough people to be around as we protect our little kingdoms from the outside world. The wife has done well to broaden and expand that little kingdom while adding lots of colors to it. I never realized that there were so many colors! I guess it is good that I married an art major!
But the bottom line is quite simple . . . after thirty years of marriage we are still together. We have come to understand the delicate balance of our relationship that allows us the freedom to be who God has created us to be and who God wants us to be as a couple. We encourage and support one another in the paths that God has set before us--we are there to laugh together and to wipe the tears of sadness away. In the silence and the noise we are together. We are companions along the way and it has been a adventure of a lifetime . . . and there is still far to go . . . and we do it together.
In the movie, Shall We Dance, the character played by Susan Sarandon is trying to explain the deeper importance of marriage to another character who is putting down the idea of marriage. In that particular scene she quietly says: "We need a witness to our lives. There's a billion people on the planet... I mean, what does any one life really mean? But in a marriage, you're promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things... all of it, all of the time, every day. You're saying 'Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness'."
No truer words have ever been spoken!
Thirty years . . . the wife has been my witness, shared in the journey, and added color to my world. For that reason I have known love. I thank the wife for thirty years of witness and for another thirty to come. All I can say to the wife is . . . I love you!