20 August 2008
Thirty two years ago, I signed on "for better or for worse" in marriage to Mike. Which of course makes today our anniversary. And as usual, we are in two different places geographically. Mike is in Alaska and I'm in Keller. Such things used to distress me, but as time rolls on and we grow in our relationship, I know the important thing is that we still have each other. The doing something big "on the day" is really secondary.
Having said that, a really, REALLY nice dinner and jewelry, eventually, is a nice gesture. Not that I'm hinting or anything....
I started learning this early on - Mike was the "new hire" at Amoco and ended up on a rig in Brazoria County on our first anniversary. Oh, the bitter tears I cried when I found out he'd been "one-upped" by someone who had been there longer, had more seniority and bumped Mike to be on that rig that particular day. Well, it was worse than just a day - he was on that rig for 3 or 4 days and nights. At the time, I thought surely it MUST be over! Surely our marriage and the celebration thereof HAD to be "on the day" and earning a livelihood, with a regular paycheck took a back seat! SURELY!! And to top it off, my mascara ran and permanently stained the bedspread I threw myself on dramatically when I got the news on the phone a few days earlier.
It was an Oscar winning performace.
Oh, how naive was I. It may not sound like the most romantic of ideas, but through the years I have indeed learned that a special occasion is not besmirched or denigrated by having it early or delaying it till later. The important thing to remember is the REASON for the occasion and the people/person behind it. And of course that reason is the love and mutual admiration we have for each other. We are each other's best friend as well as Chief Friend (which is why we often sign cards and emails "Love, CF").
It's not been all sweetness and light, no sir-ee. I'd be lying if I said it was. On our 25th anniversary I joked that we'd been happily married for 23 years! But it has been a roller coaster ride to rival any one built by man! Fantastic highs and scary lows. Dips and turns. Soaring and sailing. Exhilarating!
Some notables in our marriage:
1. Got married while Mike was still in university. I was 19 and he had just turned 21 before the wedding. And Mike mentioned the "M" word after we'd been dating, oh, six weeks! Then proceed to ask me to NOT say anything to anyone about it "until the time was right".
2. Had our first child 18 months after the wedding.
3. Moved from Lubbock to Bay City to Houston to Chicago to London to Norway to New Orleans to Houston to Chicago to Houston to Trinidad to England and back to Houston where we plan to stay for awhile.
4. Have owned 9 houses. Made money on only 4 of them.
5. We started dating on a bet. I bet him he couldn't NOT pick on me for an entire week. The loser had to take the other one out for dinner. No losers there. (he was sort of my boss at a coffee shop where we both worked - which is where we met)
6. Had premature twins in England. Survived the loss of one.
7. My dad was one of Mike's professors at Texas Tech. Neither of us realized that for quite some time.
8. Only once conceived a child in the same town as delivery. Jennifer and Timothy were mid-pregnancy transfers necessitating finding new doctors and hospitals in the new location.
9. Flown more international long haul flights than I can remember.
10. I learned the Queen's English and Mike learned Norwegian.
11. Have been members of seven different congregations, some of them twice (one of them three times...) Mike has been a deacon three times (Katy, Chicago and again at Katy now) and an elder once (in London).
12. Stateside, there is only one school that all three of our children attended at one time or the other.
13. As Mike's wife, tradition dictated that I name one of Amoco's gas fields in Trinidad & Tobago which I did. I named it Amherstia after one of the most beautiful flowering trees in the Caribbean.
14. We have owned 15 cars.
15. We have had 5 dogs and 2 cats. We have had animals in quarantine for 6 months twice (Trinidad and England). Our dog had a UK pet passport.
16. We have either helped with or paid for three weddings.
17. We have been blessed with 5 grandchildren - two in 2004 and three in 2007.
18. We have been to Wimbledon.
19. We have been to an Elton John concert in London...even if it was only 3 years ago...and was driven there by our minister...who is a Rod Stewart fan himself...
20. We have the perfect relationship - he earns the money and I spend it. He eats the food and I gain the weight.
We had no idea our journey would take us to all the places, geographical and emotionally, it has. We have been both wise and foolish. We have been forgiving and begrudging. We have been loving and sometimes ugly. But through it all, we have looked beyond ourselves, seeking wisdom from above, trusting that come what may, if we put God first, the rest will "fall in place". We don't have all the answers and we don't claim to. But we have each other and a loving God to guide us. So we have DIRECTION!
That is enough.
Happy Anniversary, Babe!