In all faithfulness and tenderness,
I lovingly choose to be with you eternally;
to accept your life as my own;to give my life in return and to love you;
to share with you all that I have from this day forward.
This I vow before God and our friends.
Thirty-two years ago today, David and I pledged to spend our lives together. What a wonderful journey we started with nothing but our belief in each other! We slept on mats the first months of our marriage, used paper boxes for our table, and stacked our clothes on the floor because we had no furniture. We ate pinto beans five days out of seven, didn’t use the air conditioner in the summers or the heater in the winters. For entertainment, we played music or stayed up all night sharing our hopes and dreams. Eventually, we up-graded our furniture to a borrowed bed, and card table with folding chairs, and a pair of unpainted chests to hold our clothes. Youth and idealism kept us strong. Love kept us happy.
Over the years, we tackled the obstacles every couple endures. Sometimes we set aside dreams for another time. Sometimes we caused each other pain by careless words. Sometimes one of us sacrificed for the other because we made the decision to share our lives together. Most times, though, life’s complications welded our unity. We definitely spent more days in happiness than in sorrow. We made the choices that pulled our destinies together on the same path along our lifelong trek. Always, we faced life’s avenues together with the strength that grows from bottomless love, devoted friendship, and profound respect.
And, if our fortune proves good, we’ll continue our journey for another thirty-two years!
Many people ask the trick to a long marriage. It comes down to loving someone enough to put them first, and trusting that they will do the same for you. You take care of each other, believe in each other, stand for each other. And, because of the love and respect you feel, you're willing to work the rough times as a couple so that you can enjoy the spectacular times.