When people get married, they can’t conceive of what life will be like way down the line.

Say, forty years.unnamed-1

John and I celebrated our fortieth wedding anniversary this past Sunday. (Yes, I was seven when we got married.) We couldn’t know what being together that long would look like. Not on our wedding day.

I’m a big picture person. Not that big a picture.

I knew I wasn’t adult enough to be married. To be responsible. To intentionally have to think of someone other than myself.

Dad grabbed my hand and put it through his arm as we prepared to move  with the swelling notes of the Wedding March. He looked at me and said, “You can do this.”

And then he race-walked me down the aisle. Veil flowing behind me. Runaway Bride style. I think he feared I’d bolt had we done as we’d rehearsed.

I was scared. Immature. Mom had handled the details of the wedding, so I’d become an interested bystander in the planning.

I knew there was no turning back.

But when I stood next to John, in front of our pastor, I knew. This was the best choice I could have made. Knew without a doubt that being with him, committing to him, was what I wanted to do.

I look back on these forty years, and it hasn’t always been romance and candlelight. We’ve had our times of crises and problems. Raising six kids has stretched us in ways we hadn’t expected. Hadn’t been prepared for. We’ve been each other’s best friend, and yet sometimes that’s unnamedlooked very adversarial. But we’re in it together. For the long haul. The “D” word has never been an option.

One of our favorite movies is Parenthood, made in 1989, with Steve Martin and Mary Steenburgen. It’s the story of a couple trying to be good spouses, good parents amidst family that challenges sanity at every level.

There’s one scene in particular where Grandma is talking to the couple. The frustration is tangible, and Grandma begins sharing how she and Grandpa had gone to the amusement park when she was 19. She loved the roller coaster. She couldn’t imagine being on something that made her feel frightened, scared, sick, excited and thrilled all at once.

She admitted some folks don’t like roller coasters. They’d rather ride the merry-go-round. But all you do is go round and round.

You get more out of the roller coaster.

Marriage. A guaranteed roller coaster.

The ride is worth it.

You read of all the celebrities today that spend millions on the dream wedding. Throwing a bash that could equal the GNP of a small country.

They forget about the day after. And all those days after. When it’s work to choose to believe the best. Work to choose to forgive. Work to grow up. That becoming one is more than sex. It’s oneness of heart, mind and soul as well.

God intended it that way. We function best that way.

These forty years have been the best of my life. Not the easiest. Definitely the most challenging. But the best.

I love roller coasters.

Buckle up, folks. The ride will be a bumpy one.

But it’s well worth the cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14 responses »

  1. ginnette young says:

    LOVE!
    Happy 40th!

  2. Wonderful post. I also love Parenthood and the grandma scene is one of the best moments. You may have just inspired a post for my site. Thanks for sharing your story.

  3. Shawna says:

    Happy Anniversary! I so love your insight, your willingness to share EACH & EVERY part, not just the good! And I am so thankful for having you and John as a part of my life for the last 15 years to literally show me what marriage is all about! The great parts & the really hard parts! I love you both SOOOO much!

  4. Randy says:

    You two haven’t changed! : ) Happy 40th.

    • daylerogers says:

      Thanks for being an encouragement to me as a person, a co-worker, and an underling (grins abound!) and an encouragement to us as a couple. You remain one of the most sincere, genuine, kindest people I know.

  5. sandrauer says:

    You pretty much summed up our own wedding, Dayle. We’ll hit 48 this month and we too were much too young. But I’ve noticed marriage health has little to do with the age of those participating. It’s about getting through the hard stuff intact and moving forward in unison. Keep on keeping on. We will also.

    • daylerogers says:

      Oh, my friend, you’re so right. The challenge is being willing to accept the challenge and work through it. Congratulations on your tremendous investment of time together.

  6. Grace4mE says:

    [If you were 7 – guess I was 8] Marriage is a roller coaster and indeed worth the challenges of growing up, forgiving; more than sex, definitely. Not the easiest, of course, but GOD’S way IS the BEST! Blessings to you both as you ride [and laugh]!

  7. alice fredricks says:

    I have loved watching you and John “play out” that commitment in loving, caring ways even when life’s challenges could have overcome you! So thankful to know the two of you! Happy Anniversary….all year!!

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