What Is Marriage?

I met some of my new neighbors here in Maine over the weekend. One of them noticed the vase of flowers I was lugging and my wedding ring and asked if my wife was with me. I said yes. She’s in the apartment overlooking the river. I’m here for our anniversary.

Of course, that led to a quizzical look since she hadn’t seen anyone coming or going into Apartment 205. So, I explained I was widowed and Karen was sitting in an urn in the apartment and how we got here from New York.

Her reaction was “Wow!” Then she asked how long we were married. I answered 40 plus seven years. Another “Wow!”

2012-12-22 19.48.39Later, in the apartment, I reflected on those words. Forty plus seven. In the blink of an eye {catchy name for a tribute book}.

In the 40 years we had, it was quite a ride from naive teenagers {I actually was 21 and Karen 20 when we tied the knot} to learning the intricacies of life and relationships to bonding more strongly day by day to being there for each other for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health. And we sealed it with “from this day forward until death do us part.”

Of course, we didn’t write our own vows back in the dark ages. But, I think if I had to, this is sort of what I would have said.

in limoI, Joe, take thee, Karen, to be my lawfully wedded wife. I’m not going to promise to be perfect, but I will promise to always love you through the good times and the bad times. With God’s help, the good times will be plenty and the bad times short and scarce. I promise to always treat you with respect and never to take you for granted. I value your opinions and your thoughtfulness and your passion and your listening spirit. I promise to stand with you through anything that comes our way. I pray our life together is filled with health and wealth, but if it isn’t, know I will still be there. I ask God to be the foundation of our marriage. With his help and acting together, nothing can ever defeat us. God brought us together. May He sustain us to a long, happy life together. I love you … yesterday … today … and all our tomorrows.

I can’t speak for Karen, but I’m sure in my heart of hearts her words would have had the same ring to them.

The plus seven hasn’t changed things. In a very real way, Karen is still by my side. Poor kid, she just can’t get rid of me.

As I reflected on our 40 plus seven years, I came across an anniversary card I sent her many, many, many years ago. It somehow seemed appropriate to recycle it here. The sentiment was true then … it is true now.

What Is Marriage?

Marriage is the beautiful blending
Of two lives, two loves and two hearts —
It’s the wonderful, magical moment
When a beautiful love story starts.

Marriage is caring and sharing
From the moment you first say, “I do” —
It’s learning of life’s little troubles
And all of its happiness, too.

Marriage is respect for each other,
It’s a bond made in heaven above.
It’s finding the world in each other —
It’s laughter … it’s joy … it’s love.
[G.W. Douglas]

Some people think marriage is outmoded now,
And they don’t want to make the commitments and vows,
But I just can’t see things from their point of view,
And I know it’s because of how much I love you —

I cherish each promise that holds us together,
For you’re my life’s joy, and you will be forever.

Happy Anniversary
With All My Love

Yesterday … Today … Tomorrow … Forever
Love, Joe

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Love doesn’t demand; love compromises. It doesn’t possess; it frees. Love doesn’t gloat; it praises. Love makes friends.

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in anniversary, blessings, Blink of an Eye, family, joy, Karen, love, marriage, Memories, relationships, Uncategorized, wife and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to What Is Marriage?

  1. Amazing…keep it up.


  2. Joe Nozzolio says:

    Beautiful sentiments. I just can’t understand how our society today looks up to couples who have children and decide to not get married. Why? They claim that it’s more of a commitment to each other to stay together without the strictures of a marriage. How ridiculous, because they will soon separate upon the first bump in the road, or the first infatuation with another person.


  3. dawnlizjones says:

    I just commented to my husband (of 36 years) this evening what a thing of value we have in our marriage. It’s such a mystery but also a tangible that we can’t fully appreciate, a powerful thing. Thanks for this, Joe.


  4. Lou says:

    This is a good one too… Quote from Albert Einstien: ” When we first got married, we made a pact. It was this: In our life together, it was decided I would make all of the big decisions and my wife would make all of the little decisions. For fifty years, we have held true to that agreement. I believe that is the reason for the success in our marriage. However, the strange thing is that in fifty years, there hasn’t been one big decision.”


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