54 YEARS AGO TODAY
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
"Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle."
~ Amy Bloom
We were so young in June of 1953. Mr. Bob was the older and probably wiser; I was barely 19, both of us very naive and inexperienced, with no idea whatsoever about the road we were setting out upon. We were married in a small ceremony at the Glendale Church of Religious Science. No fanfare, no fuss. My wedding outfit was a blue raw silk suit.......a simple reception was held for family at my parents' home before we set off for a Las Vegas honeymoon. I recall standing in the hot Nevada sun the next morning while Master Bob went to fetch the car wondering what in the world I had done. 54 years later, he's still acting the part of my valet and I'm so grateful that I did what I did. I married well, that's what.
"Chains do not hold a marriage together It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads, which sew people together through the years."
He likes coffee. I prefer tea. He loves to drive. I don't. Now that we're both retired, we squabble more than we ever did during the busy years of working and raising children. That bothers two of our friends and a couple of our offspring. There have been many nights that we've gone to bed mad, in spite of sound advice to the contrary.
"My husband and I have never considered divorce........murder, sometimes, but never divorce."
I have observed that in our latter years, we seem joined at the hip and that as my hips get wider, we're growing apart. Mr. Bob's rejoinder was, "I don't want a hip replacement." We sleep in a narrow double bed with less individual room than a baby has in a crib. When we do go to bed in a state of irk, it's a challenge to sleep without touching one another, but it's possible.
"When asked his secret of love, beting married fifty-four years to the same person, he said, 'Ruth and I are happily incompatible'".
He earned a living as a printer for 42 years. I supplied some of the frosting on the cake by my career as a bookseller. He was my not-always-silent partner in my business endeavors. He spends a lot of time trying to convince me that he's not smart and then proves himself wrong by letting his wit peep through. I'm still trying to persuade him that I have good taste and wouldn't have married anyone stupid.
"Anyone can be passionate, but it takes real lovers to be silly."
I definitely got the better of the deal on June 26, 1953. And I apologize regularly to him for the areas in which I know my performance falls short. He deserves better, but the darling doesn't seem to realize it. Thank goodness for that.
"Sexiness wears thin after a while and beauty fades. But to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day, ah, now that's a real treat."
My advice to newly married couples is to be sure to remember that some years are better than others. Along with experiencing a few potholes in that road, we've had a good time together. Tonight we're going to a restaurant high on the side of the foothills overlooking the sprawling metropolis in which we've chosen to live. And we'll watch the lights come on as the darkness gathers and we'll get ready to weather and/or take pleasure in whatever life holds next for us. Happy anniversary, dear heart.
"Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be -- the last of life for which the first was made."
Oh, my, four years later finds us in such a different place. As mortality comes more clearly into view and we realize how precious little time is left, we've come into a new appreciation of not only each other, but also the third entity which is our union, our us-ness, a made-up word I used in the poem in "Teardrops" the other day.
We met on a north-bound train and in the ensuing years traveled by planes, ships and rails.......our three children brought us joy and grew us up in the process of raising them. Today, they're people we're honored to know. We had fulfilling careers. Our lives have provided us with much laughter and an equal amount of irks.
Being apart this past month has brought us a renewed commitment to making our lives together the best they can possibly be. From his room in the Skilled Nursing center, Mr. Bob just texted me these words:
"This is the first day of the rest of new life for us."
To which I add the word, "Amen"
"Romance is the glamour which turns the dust of everyday life into a golden haze"