Last weekend, we attended a 50th wedding anniversary celebration for two of our church members. Derek did a renewal/reaffirmation of their vows (not sure about the correct terminology), we had a lovely meal, and the karaoke began. The whole night was great fun and a beautiful celebration of their life together, but more than that something became obvious that I’d never thought about before. Fifty years of marriage…what are you celebrating exactly? The fact that you didn’t kill each other, or divorce, or that you were able to tolerate each other? Is it the love, the trust, the faithfulness?
There’s probably some truth to each of these things, but watching Gus and Lee dance together, and then with their four children, and watching their grandkids all pool together to sing a Taylor Swift song at the karaoke machine, the boy cousins looking like brothers with their dark cropped heads and the girls laughing and giggling in embarrassment in identical long curly hair and cute short boots, I realized a celebration of that many years has moved beyond the romantic love of two people to include the beautiful family they’ve created, their friends who have come and gone, and memories good and bad of times they’ve celebrated and weathered together.
It’s more than love, it’s life. Having a life together, creating new life, living through good and bad, and that’s worth celebrating.
On the way home I told Derek I would look forward to our golden anniversary and could imagine our grown-up kids and hopefully some grandkids there with us. We figured out he would be 75 and I 72, two days from 73. Then he said, “Kate will be in her 40s.” And the whole lovely daydream poofed away as I giggled hysterically, because I simply cannot imagine my nine-year-old in her forties.