Sunday, August 31, 2008
To have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness or in health, to love and to cherish 'till death do us part.
After church today, we drove to Santa Barbara to help Eric's parents celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary! Forty years ago today, Robert and Myrna Hodge were married in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. Forty years ago this October 13, another special couple were married in St. Louis, Missouri: my parents, George and Vivian Gow. Forty years. Forty years. Forty years. Just let that sink in for a minute...........
Forty years is a long time! It's a long time to stick by someone when sometimes they don't seem worthy of being stuck by. Forty years is a long time to sacrifice your desires for the sake of another person, or just to simple think of someone besides yourself. Forty years is a long time to stand beside someone who is not always pleasant, not always loving and not always in the best of health.
Eric and I have been married 12 years, and although we have had to make sacrifices for each other, we have not had to live out the "in sickness and in health" part of the vows we recited to each other on our wedding day. Both my parents and Eric's parents have put that vow to the test. My mother and mother-in-law are both breast cancer survivors. I have watched my dad, as well as Eric's dad, persevere through the dark days of their wife's cancer. Those men were by their wife's side in the hospital. They were by their side in the chemo room. They were by their side at home. And they were by their side when things did not look hopeful.
On the reverse, I have watched my mom and mother-in-law stick by their husbands through major surgeries and minor illnesses. "In sickness and in health" are not trite words to these couples. The are reality.
In the past few years I have seen couples divorce for a number of reasons, and it breaks my heart. But then I look at my parents and Eric's parents who have vowed to never ever let that sacred bond of marriage be broken, and I have hope. And I rejoice. And I celebrate.
Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hodge and Mr. & Mrs. George Gow!
"So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate." Matthew 19:6
George & Vivian