A few weeks ago Pope Francis noted that “a vast majority of marriages are null. They say ‘yes, for my whole life,’ but they do not know what they are saying because they have a different culture.” Well, below is my son’s reflection on his experience of marriage in the past 7 years. It is not every day that one’s own off-spring reveal gifts inadvertently obtained through genetic transfer. So please allow me a little indulging as I take credit for having transmitted the writing gene to our oldest son David (given my husband Jim’s resistance to writing anything, I’m fairly sure Jim would agree). I was deeply moved when I opened Facebook this morning and found his musings on this July 4, his 7th wedding anniversary. Below is David’s testimony on his experience of marriage, and I am proud to call him my guest blogger today. I consider my son’s musings a noble testimony to the notion that we live into our commitment to love one another day by day. Sharing his insights and wisdom with my readers is my gift to our son and his beautiful wife Kathryn. Dear David and Kathryn, happy anniversary, may you have many more amazing years of learning and growing and loving together:
As I enjoy this morning’s beautiful sunshine while sipping coffee, eating a quiet breakfast, and listening to the chitter chatter song of the birds, it seems to me a great time to reminisce over what’s taken place during the past 7 years.
On July 4, 2009 a couple of young and foolish kids walked into a church and said some vows to each other, thinking… for a moment… that they knew what they were doing… what they were getting into. I love them both, but what naive young people they were…
As one of those two young kids, I can say I didn’t have a clue what I was truly getting into. The strength of our character that we’d both been raised to live with was going to be truly tested over the next few years. Some unexpected detours, foggy roadways and the occasional wrong turn would challenge us to remain steadfast to what we’d committed to each other that day, regardless of our understanding of that moment, 7 years ago.
Shortly into our marriage, as we both took on new career challenges, one in policing, one helping celebrate weddings, it became increasingly clear that the very nature of our full time work endeavours couldn’t be further apart from one another. One of us helps people celebrate one of the single greatest moments of their lives (even if, like us, they too don’t fully “get” it during that moment) and the other one of us often deals with people at the opposite extreme of their life (not always, but often). This has been a challenge for us more often then I will share here.
Now sitting here today on our anniversary, looking back over the past 7 years and mentally preparing for our first transfer and move through Kathryn’s work, it becomes increasingly obvious that both of our career choices provide a mental balance to each other’s lives in a way we probably don’t fully appreciate. It is far to easy in her line of work to end up being the cynical, harsh, quick to judge type of person that doesn’t appreciate the large, small and seemingly insignificant moments in life that should really bring us a lot of joy. Conversely, living in the non-stop happy world that I enjoy as wedding entertainment director, it is far too easy to forget that where I live and work is far from many people’s reality. In fact, many of them can’t imagine anywhere close to the joy I am so blessed to be able to celebrate with week after week, month after month, year after year.
Through these two interesting worlds that we’ve dedicated our life’s work, I think we keep each other in check. We aren’t letting the environments of our work worlds completely define our views and attitudes toward things, but rather, together, we are able to maintain a healthy outlook on what we have as a couple, what the world is like around us, and what’s out there for our daughters to explore in their own time.
For this, I am thankful that we’ve made these 7 years work and that we didn’t get too bogged down in the discovery of what marriage is all about. While our work worlds have made it a challenge, I’m beginning to see how perfectly they compliment each other. Happy anniversary my dear Kathryn. Thank you for everything. We got this.
As if this isn’t enough wisdom from a young couple, this same day Sarah Bessey’s latest reflection arrived in my email — on marriage. Striking how both reflections echo one another – happy reading 🙂
Thank you for reading this reflection. For private comments use the contact form below. For public ones, scroll down further to write your thoughts.