Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Patience and Endurance
The best man died ten years ago. My bridesmaid became schizophrenic and the maid of honor became a Tea Party Republican. All of the uncles and most of our aunts are gone as well as a good chunk of the guests. About the only ones left from our wedding are cousins and one or two friends.
We spent most of our day apart yesterday and met for dinner at our favorite restaurant in separate cars. We left the restaurant and went to see a movie at the only theatre in town where the popcorn was better than the movie then came home and argued about what we would watch on TV.
In years since I first met Beaven Els we’ve watched about four or five wars play out, depending on what you call a war. As we matured our politics have done an about-turn. We watched the first man step on the moon together. On November 15, 1969 personal computers didn’t exist and you could walk right onto a commercial plane with no questions asked.
We raised two decent kids and weathered alcoholism, cancer and menopause together. We’ve buried four parents and taken some awesome vacations. We’ve accomplished things we never even thought to dream of and we’ve visited countries we never thought we would find exciting. We’ve remodeled houses with our own hands and learned that we don’t know a damned thing about carpentry but we keep doing it ourselves anyway. About the only technique we’ve really mastered is running wires through walls.
We survived two teenagers and they survived us and we will eat Thanksgiving together without much dread.
I vividly remember my thoughts as we left on our honeymoon: “I know nothing about this guy.” And, compared to what I know now, I didn’t. We quite frankly lucked out. Probably the greatest thing we’ve learned in 42 years of marriage is to have patience and to endure.
This coming Saturday we’ll attend the wedding of a girl we watched grow up in our church. She’s marrying a guy she met on a mission trip who reminds me a lot of a younger Beaven. Forty-two years from now most of the guests at this wedding, including Beaven and I, will assuredly be gone. Things Elizabeth and John have never dreamed of will have been invented. They will go places and do things they can’t imagine now.
Life always surprises us. Here’s to Happy Surprises. Here’s to Patience and Endurance. The future is uncertain at its very best but it is never boring. He may not look much like Superman to other people but he still does to me.