Friday, October 30, 2009

Anniversaries and Decisions

Today is my parents' 38th wedding anniversary.

Pretty cool, huh?

It is also my dad's 61st birthday.  I always knew that my mom was smart, but, getting married on your husband's birthday is truly genius.  He has never had an excuse to forget his anniversary!

Anyway, in a world where the easier decision is sometimes to choose divorce or separation, my parents have stuck by each other through some pretty hairy stages of life.  Their faith in each other and their faith in God have always been a shining example to me.  I have witnessed that times  in my life will be hard, but I have also witnessed the beauty and grace of sharing those burdens with the one that you love, the one that holds your heart.  

I believe that great love stories, like my parents' love story, are gifts. 

And for those gifts, I am eternally grateful.

So, Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!  You two are truly my role models.  Your love for each other is inspiring.  

In honor of your day, here is a repost that I think that your love obviously inspired.


The Decision

When my dad toasted hubby and me at our rehearsal dinner, he pointedly looked at each of us and said, "Love is a decision that you make each and every day."  At the time, I was so engrossed in the moment and celebrating with my family and friends that I did not really comprehend what he was saying, but nine years later, I am beginning to grasp its meaning.

To fully love another human being, you have to recognize that love is not just a feeling, it is achoice that you need to actively make. Each. And. Every. Day.  Falling in love . . . getting that butterflies in your belly feeling, that feeling that you get when you are a little kid and you are swinging just a little bit too high on the swing set, that feeling that you get when you are just about to dive off the high diving board at the pool, that feeling . . . is the easy part. 

It is the staying in love that is the hard part.

You see, once life takes over, the ability to choose to love takes over too.  And, choosing to love your honey when every fiber in your being just wants to scream, beat your fists into a pillow, and just let honey have it, is so much more difficult than just allowing the hate and anger to consume you.

So, when hubby decided to scrape the snow and ice off of my window one morning before work and used our metal shovel to get the job done, I had to almost bite my knuckle raw in order to not kill him for putting 4 foot long scratches across my windshield with the shovel.  When I found out that we would have to replace the windshield, I had to switch knuckles and keep on gnawing in order to maintain control.    I had to actively remember that hubby was just trying to be nice when he scraped my windshield down. I had to choose to love hubby even when every little nerve in my body was so mad that I could strangle him.  There was no rosy, pretty pink love feeling at that moment.  Instead, there was a bold and cold decision that I knew that I had to make, even though I didn't feel like making it.  

And when I recently messed up our bank account, hubby had every right to be downright ticked at me.  I had screwed up and screwed up royally, and it was going to cost us extra money that we did not have.  But instead of taking it out on me, hubby immediately recognized how terrible I felt, swallowed his angry feelings, and gave me a much needed hug.  He chose to love me even when I felt completely unlovable.  He made a decision to love me. A decision that, at the time, was not easy.

Hubby and I have to make these decisions daily.  Whether it is his clothes on the floor or my penchant for leaving egg shells in the sink, if we let the little things bother us day to day, if we accused and used each other to get our petty anger out, then we would be chipping away at our own foundation as a couple and we would be in no shape to handle the big things when they inevitably creep up.

And they always do creep up.

By choosing to love each other, hubby and I are constantly reinforcing our foundation.  With every choice, our wall gets a little thicker, and with every decision, we are just a bit more solid.  Together.  That's not to say that we don't have our cracks, either.  We do.  But because our focus is to be proactive in our foundation and in our relationship, we can weather the cracks.  We can repair them. And we are that much stronger for it.

So, when we have to face a new life or an unexpected death, when we have to face financial adversity or a tragic loss,  or when we have to face a success or a defeat, hubby and I are ready.  

We have nine years of decisions to prove it.


So, to my marriage role models,  I thank you.  I appreciate the role you played in my own strong marriage and in my love story.  I wish you a Happy Anniversary.

I love you!

 And Dad . . .  get a babysitter for Mom Mom and take mom out.  You both deserve it!


  1. Annie, you summed it up in a nut shell. I was there to witness this love of your parents from the very beginning. It is something so very special and for you to recognize this special gift is also heartwarming. Your blog is beautiful and a wonderful "gift" to your parents on this special day. May Laurie and Fred have many more Anniversary blogs!!!! Happy Anniversary Laurie and Fred, a very special couple indeed!

  2. I love this, and it's what I've been telling my daughter and (most likely) my future son-in-law. In fact, I'm going to send them a link to your blog post!


  3. Love is a choice! I'm not sure why so many don't look at it that way. Lovely post. :)

  4. Wonderful post. My parents have been married for 38 years as well, but they have not always been the role models of love that I sometimes needed. It's nice to see that someone else has had that example in their lives and gives me a chance once again today to choose to love them.

    Happy Birthday and Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  5. Love this post. Thank you for sharing!

    Happy Halloween and Happy SITS Saturday Sharefest!

  6. I just love this post. When my husband and I got married 17 years ago this December my husbands uncle made a toast and these words have always stuck in my mind..."marriage is commitment to the commitment" Like you, it didn't really mean much to me in that moment of wedding bliss. However, 10 years later it came back to me and may have been the only thing that kept us together. We went through a number of REALLY rough years and I look back and am amazed that we made it! But we are happier today than the day we got married. I believe that if you hang in there the trials can bring you bliss like you never knew before. My parents have been married 44 is wonderful to have such great examples of marriage in a world that is full of relationships exhibiting lack of commitment. Thanks for your post!


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