It Never Gets Old — Happy Anniversary

Sometimes it seems like yesterday. Other times it seems like a  lifetime ago.

On this day 48 years ago, I watched in awe as this vision floated down the center aisle of mammoth Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Paterson, NJ. I only had eyes for her. She only had eyes for me. We were in love, love, love and thinking, dreaming and planning our lives together.

down aisleWe were so young and naive back then. We thought we would live a fairy tale life. We were going to the chapel to get married and life would be peaches and cream. We would never have to say good night and leave again.

It didn’t take us long to realize fairy tales are … well, fairy tales. Marriage was hard work and love was not a three letter word {S-E-X}. It meant putting our wants and needs aside to protect, honor and respect our mate. It meant sharing. It meant helping each other. It meant supporting each other. It may not have been a fairy tale, but it was about as close as you come. It’s a commitment not meant for the faint hearted. And it is hard, hard, every day work.

cartoon 2For the next 40 years we laughed together, cried together, truly enjoyed each other’s company {okay, most days}, shared our accomplishments and disappointments, moved and moved and moved and moved, raised five beautiful children, were blessed with 18 grandchildren and two great-granddaughters. It was quite a ride from naiveannivrsary 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.”

We weren’t thinking about the “death do us part” part on that day. But, death is inevitable … and it was my Karen who was called first shortly after our 40th anniversary in 2008.

IMG_20160831_073523070Physically, she did depart. Emotionally, however, she is very much a part of my life. There isn’t a day that goes by without thinking about her. There isn’t a decision I make without “consulting” her — probably more than I did when she was alive. In a very real way, Karen is still by my side. Poor kid, she just can’t get rid of me.

I think I’ve adjusted from being suddenly single over the past few years. I don’t like it, but I’ve adjusted. My biggest regret over the last eight years has not been the loneliness {although that is VERY real}, but the fact Karen isn’t here sharing this season of life with me. This was supposed to be our time. WE were going to retire to Maine. WE were going to watch our family grow. WE were going to spoil the grandkids. WE were going to welcome our great-grandchildren. WE were going to travel. WE. WE. WE.

I still manage to do those things, but I really feel the loss when I attend a function alone or eat alone in a fine restaurant or walk alone in downtown Portland or Southport or Eastport or Augusta and not being dragged into an antique or novelty shop.  I miss enjoying the changing seasons with Red. I miss the little things that made up our life.

I miss celebrating our anniversary in person. I’ll settle for in spirit … because I know you are very much here.

Happy Anniversary, Kid!

Often we didn’t know

what tomorrow would bring,

serious frontbut we believed things

would work out …

and they usually did.

And today as we celebrate

another anniversary together,

I just have to smile

when I think of how far we’ve come,

with nothing but love

and a few crazy dreams.

I Love You … Yesterday … Today … For Always

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: When we love, we always strive to become better than we are. When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too. — Paulo Coelho

About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
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2 Responses to It Never Gets Old — Happy Anniversary

  1. Andy Oldham says:

    Wow! Congratulation my friend!


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