Today is our 38th wedding anniversary, my husband Ed and me. We met at the end of August, 1973. We got engaged on September 13th, three weeks later. We married on Groundhog’s Day 1974. And we have belonged to each other, heart and soul, ever since. Good times and bad, we have tried (and sometimes struggled) with our handwritten wedding vows. I deliberately left out any mention of God when writing those vows, not because of my beliefs, but to honor my husband’s agnostic ones. But my father, whose sense of humor I inherited, decided to insert God into the portion of the ceremony where he read his wishes for us. A special memory. We were married by a minister, nonetheless, a dear family friend, the Reverend Bob DeWolfe. Our wedding was held at the Red Castle Inn, on one of the hills overlooking the river which once flowed through Nevada City, CA. There is a freeway there now.
It was my second marriage. The first one, what they call now a ‘starter marriage’ broke almost before it began. Ed and I met, almost accidentally, and I know that people say that someone was “meant to be” right from the start, but all I really know is that I saw him standing outside my sister’s apartment door, raising his eyebrow at me, and I was struck dumb. If you know me, you’ll know that isn’t a typical occurrence! He was different from the other boys (oh, sorry, wrong plot line…) tall, dark and yes, handsome. I had always liked athletic blonds before, stocky monkey arms…ah well. that was before.
I was 21. He was 29.
I consider myself part of an unusual marriage; one in which we have both learned and grew in wisdom, understanding and love for one another. He has accepted the changes in my personality – increased feminism and temperamental moodiness – and I have embraced the changes in him – increased need for quiet and peace, and an isolationist personality. The road is not always smooth, but we managed to have two children together, raise them in love and with the intent to make them and our marriage part of a unique family unit. Our kids are grown up now, and we have grandsons, but we have never stopped looking at each other with smiles, laughing at the absurdities of life, and loving what we have made together.
Neither of us has enjoyed good health, but somehow the illnesses brought us closer together, understanding the fragility of the human body, and the limitations that time puts on us as we continue to tread the one-way path to the future, whatever happens. When asked what the “secret” of our marriage has been, I always say, our ability to laugh at ourselves, and with one another, and a deep, abiding friendship with one another. I have made lots of bad choices in my lifetime – marrying Ed was definitely NOT one of them!