A friend is hosting a "celebrate your spouse" link-up party for February, in honor of Valentine's Day. I think it's highly likely that no one who regularly reads my blog is unclear about how I feel about the Beve, so I'm not certain I have anything new to share. Not that I don't appreciate him more today than I did yesterday. I absolutely do. He has weight on his broad shoulders that he's never had to bear before, and his hair is graying from the pressure (though I did dream he also had his accidentally dyed red, and if I think mine's bad, you should have seen his--not only was it a bad look, but a horrible dye job as well!). I feel for him, pray for him, want to lighten his load even as I suspect I'm part of what makes it heavy. However, I love him. Trust that God knows and God knows and God knows what He's about in Beve, in purifying him through all this--that He is making this amazing man even more shining gold.
All that to say, I thought instead of writing an entirely new post about him, I'd repost what I wrote on our 25th wedding anniversary in 2009, because other than what we had for lunch, I could have written it this morning.
This is the 25th wedding anniversary of the day I limped down an aisle on a broken foot to a grinning giant who couldn't wait to say his beautiful vows to me. Vows he wrote himself, of which my dad later said, "He's really painted himself into a corner if he lives up to those--which he will, of course." 25 years. We went out to lunch and I asked him if he wanted to re-up for another 25. He said he wants at least double that but I said he was probably on his own. 50 years from now, he'd be 102 and I'd be 101, and if he should be so unfortunate to live that long, he'll have to do it with a second wife, because I'm not planning to pass the century mark. I can't imagine...
But I am grateful for these last twenty-five years. Almost half my life of loving the Beve, sharing table, bed and home with him. Sharing the load of parenting, of aging parents, house ownership and dog ownership. Twenty-five years of squabbling like siblings at moments, of being selfish and acting like children, and selfless and being Christ to each other, of seeing the best in each other and the worst in each other, and taking those things together to make the imperfect, perfect whole that is US. Two-become-one adventure that is us. I guess I'm saying that our marriage is the core of the community in which we grow up in Christ and Beve is the first 'other' through whom God works to make me mature. At the best of moments, I know this is true. At the worst ones, I'm sorry it's so. At lunch today--at this lovely little Italian cafe where the owner had the beautiful lilt of Italy in his voice, and I ate a wonderful tomato and gorgonzola soup--Beve prayed that we continue to get to know each other, that we continue to discover new ways of being one, new adventures of this life we are called to live together. I smiled at his words, echoing them in my head. To continue to get to know him, to continue to find new ways of loving this man--it's a good goal for our 26th year.
And as the vicissitudes of life roll around us--aging, demented parents; children who--oddly--think they're actually adults now that they're in their 20s; friends with various ailments of body or heart; jobs and ministries to the broken and needy--may this marriage continue to be the sanctuary it has always been to us. May it be the metaphoric mattress we each fall onto at the end of the day (just as our bed is the physical one), when life hits hard and we are exhausted by it. May this marriage be a witness for good, a testimony to God to all with whom we rub shoulders.