Today may not mean much to you, but it has significance to me. In fact, one might argue that it is one of the most important dates in my life. Today is my Mom and Dad’s 37th anniversary. 37 years ago, my family was born. What makes the story so much fun is that it almost didn’t happen. Before my mother and father got married my father is engaged to be married to his high school sweetheart. He went of to college at the University of Wyoming. It was my mother who called him up and informed him that his fiancée was cheating on him. A year later my mom and dad were engaged to be married. But the story doesn’t end there. With my parents the third time was the charm. My father failed to show up at his own wedding twice. (It is not that he didn’t love mom, he did. He was just so worried that he wouldn’t be good for her that he didn’t show up. My mother’s undying love kept strong and she waited until he was ready. (and then she sent help to make sure dad showed up the third time).
The years have not been perfect since. They have had their ups and downs. I know that the days when my father drank those where hard days for my mom. I can remember waiting up with her (she didn’t know I was awake) waiting for dad to come home. Or better put, hoping that dad would come home. I remember the fights they had over his drinking, money, his job, etc. But, I also know the loving moments. Every time my dad came home from the farm, smelling of hog, my mom met him at the door, kissed him, told him she loved him and sent him to the shower. I can recall my dad showing my mom how much he loved her. He was never good with words, but he was always good with action. He made sacrifices for her, he did his best to encourage her to be the best that she could be. And I remember one conversation I had with my dad. He stated, “I could never dream of being married to someone other than your mother. No one will ever love her as much as she does. And for that I love her dearly.”
Today, my mom and dad are in Deadwood, SD celebrating their 37th Anniversary. Why make a special trip for the 37th? Why not wait to a 40? A 50? Why didn’t they do something like this for the 35th? Because my parents have always celebrated their journey together. To them, there is no benefit in waiting until society tells you that a number has value. To them, every year together has been worth celebrating. Every year together has been special. And, with every year that ticks by they come to understand that more and more. My dad has buried sister-in-laws, brothers and sisters. In fact, among his own siblings only his youngest sister still has a living spouse. The rest have buried the one the love. My mother has one sister who has already said her final good-bye to her husband. So, they both have come to the realization that each year could very well be the last year that they spend together. So, each year, they find some special way to celebrate their journey together. Sometimes it is a special trip, sometimes it is just disappearing for the day on the side of creek, sometimes it is a special dinner, and sometimes a new movie that just came out. But they do something.
As I contemplate all that my parents taught me, this is one of my favorite lessons. I just celebrated my 13th. To be honest, it was nothing spectacular. (I guess in part because I knew we were leaving on our own trip so very soon). But, mostly because I lost sight of that lesson my parents taught me. Of course, like I said last week concerning Mother’s Day, we shouldn’t wait until one time a year to tell our mothers how much we love and cherish them. It should be something that we do everyday. Celebrating the journey of life with your spouse is something that we should be doing more than once a year. Solomon put it this way, “Be always with her love (Prov. 5:19).” Some translations so be intoxicated with her love, others say to be ravished with her love. The word is often translated as sin, as in the sense to wander. Let the love of your spouse always be on your mind. When you “day dream” at work day dream of him/her. When you are away from him, let her heart wander back to the loving embrace of your spouse.
Take the time to read Song of Solomon this afternoon. Read of two people who deeply love each other. Read of how they are exhilarated with their love one for another. Look at how they celebrate their journey together and let it move you to show your spouse tonight how special her/she is to you. -WTK
Grinnell church of Christ
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Celebrate the Journey
Volume 6 Issue 22