Yesterday was the anniversary of my parents' wedding. If Mom were alive, it would have been their 49th anniversary. Since I just turned 48, Mom would have said, "It's our 48th anniversary," a joke which failed to embarrass me soon after I was able to understand it.
My parents had a strong and strange marriage. They were an institution, to me and to many of their friends. They would argue, bicker, and pick at each other. They would hug and kiss in the kitchen when they made supper. They traveled together and separately. They supported each other and gave each other room. Most evenings, they sat in their places, reading and watching television, occasionally commenting, discussing, or arguing. It was strange to watch, but it worked for them.
As Bob and I get ready to celebrate our 23rd anniversary tomorrow, I recognize that marriages are strange, especially from the outside. Not the dysfunctional, violent, disjointed, cruel marriages that aren't really marriages. The partnering of two people who have realized that not only can they stand to be with each other, they can't stand to be without each other.
Whether they are married in a church, in a courthouse, or in their minds, it is their marriage. Happy anniversary to everyone who is lucky enough to have this.