This July the 14th I will have been married nearly forever. Okay, for fifty years. Space will not allow a full treatise of all those many, many days, but only a snapshot of two days in particular.
Earlier this month I visited one of my favorite doctors after a recent elective surgery; my husband came with me as I’m not driving yet. While the doctor tended to me, I started chatting with him and my husband chimed in.
During a pause in the conversation the assistant asked, “How long have you two been married?”
I pondered a moment why her question came so out of the blue. Was it that obvious? Perhaps it was the ease with which (on this occasion, at least) my husband and I wove our communication in and out of each other’s, offering comments and questions and dialoguing with the doctor, finishing each other’s sentences.
“How long have we been married, honey?” I asked, head turned a bit awkwardly as the doc took time with some tender skin on my face.
“Well,” he told the young gal, “this July will be 50 years.”
“Wow…….. that’s a long time. Fifty years.”
No kidding, I thought, people who have been married for fifty years are old.
“What’s your secret?” she wanted to know.
“No secret,” my husband continued, “except the glue of God’s grace.”
“And just sticking with it,” I added, no pun intended.
Later in the week we had a date night and went to go see the new Guardians of the Galaxy movie (’cause we’re cool like that). There’s a scene between the main character, Peter, and Mantis who are discussing how long people live on Earth.
“It’s not very long,” says Peter. “They die when they’re like 50.”
“Fifty?! Are you gonna die?” Mantis is incredulous.
“NO! I’m not fifty!”
Chuckles popcorned through the full audience of the theater and I was reminded of my own similar perspective.
I remember thinking as a teenager that people in their 70’s were elderly and couples who had been married for fifty years were positively ancient. Not to mention extinct, frankly, as the occasion for finding people that have stayed married that long becomes more and more rare.
I still feel like a teenager, which is part of the issue–how could I possibly have been married fifty years?
As my husband said, it is God’s grace and glue alone–and the choice to stay married. Because it is always a choice to stay, to work through the hard seasons of growing together and apart and separately.
I am beyond grateful to God for giving me a husband who is patient and kind and persevering.
Who can finish my sentences, stand by my side through hard things and who has stayed all these years true to the God who loves him.
And someone who loves popcorn and crazy movies. And me.