Thirty years ago today my husband and I made vows, exchanged rings, ate cake, and began a journey that has had its share of highs, lows, twists and turns. And here we are! 30 years. Crazy.
We got married on a Saturday morning in September. The Huskers were playing Baylor that night and my parents were long-time season ticket holders. That scenario should make sense to a whole lot of you. If it doesn’t, I’m not going to take time to explain the loyalty of a true Husker fan. We knew what we were doing.
Headed for a honeymoon in the Bahamas, we flew to St. Louis the afternoon of the wedding for a quick overnight stop before a flight to Nassau early the next morning. A honeymoon suite with no bed, a cranky hotel staff, and a forgotten credit card, were early tests to our marriage, but eventually we returned safely to our home in Lincoln, ready to begin our life together.
I’m certain no couple is prepared for marriage, no matter how much pre-marital counseling you’ve had. And we’d had a lot. Pre-engagement AND pre-marital counseling, just so we knew we would be ready for anything. We weren’t, but again, no one is.
Over the past 30 years, there have been apartments and houses, cars, minivans, and pick-up trucks. We have started and closed businesses, lost jobs and celebrated promotions. We’ve traveled the world but stayed settled close to home. We’ve lost three parents and a baby. We’ve raised four incredible children, two of whom have begun their own marital journey. It has been a full and rich life.
I don’t write much about marriage or my husband. I’ve remained pretty determined to keep that part of my life private for many reasons. Party because I have seen too many other couples share about their marriages in ways that make things look pretty perfect, but having witnessed the reality of their relationship, I know it isn’t all it’s portrayed to be. And partly because, in all honesty, as good as our life together has been, it has also been really hard. Maybe someday, with my husband’s blessing, I will write more about us, but for now, nope.
What I can tell you is I’m pretty confident no one has prayed for me more over the past 30 years than my husband. He’s hard-working, funny, and everybody, and I do mean EVERYBODY, likes him. If you come up to me and tell me how much you like my husband, I will probably either smile and nod my head in agreement, or roll my eyes because you’re the 28th person to tell me the same thing that day. It’s such a burden being married to the nicest guy on the planet. :)
I am about to release a book about raising creative kids, knowing full well I have only been able to encourage my kids in that way because my husband has encouraged me to pursue my own creative passions. He’s married to a woman who loves being alone and whose artistic journey has meant many hours and days away from home. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s why he’s so nice. He’s had all that time to himself! Hmmm...
I can also tell you that love doesn’t look like what I thought it would. And I’m glad. Because what I thought love looked like wouldn’t have sustained us through the years. What has gotten us through, is faith, commitment, and choosing to see the good, even when things get difficult. We are a work in progress and while I’m not sure we’ll get another 30 years to figure things out, we’ll keep trying.
So, here’s to us, Perry. I don’t say it enough, but I love you and I love our life. Happy anniversary!