Fifty years ago my parents made their vows to one another for “better or worse, richer/poorer, sickness/health… til death do us part.” My two older brothers and our respective families are celebrating in Chicago, my mom and dad’s hometown. We’ve had tours of old stomping grounds, fireworks with 5 billion other people overlooking Lake Michigan, lots of wonderful moments making new memories and lots of hard moments with very crabby children. Like right now as I write this, my boys are whining and I feel like my head might just spin off from frustration. But even in the midst of the cruel comments the boys are making to one another and the tantrums they have thrown, an incredible gift has been given to all of us.
My parents have invited their children and grandchildren to celebrate with them. Instead of taking an extravagant trip to some exotic destination, they have provided a long weekend filled with activities for the youngest to oldest person. But the best part of being here is not the beautiful lakeshore and parks or the restaurants or the shopping, it is knowing that after 50 years, my parents are still committed to one another and showing their love not only to one another but to each of us. Their marriage is a gift. That sounds so trite but marriage commitments are rare today, especially 50 year marriages.
Sure they’ve had their ups and downs and the hardships that come with marriage, but they love each other. It is obvious in the way they care for one another and touch one another and really know one another. My marriage with Bret has not always been easy. And I’m sure we’ll have more bumps in the road, but I hope in 34 years we can bring our family together and know that through the grace of God, living one day at a time, we can stand victorious in our marriage, too.