So we had an anniversary.
But here's the thing: it was a whole lot more like a picture of marriage than a picture of that day 30 years ago.
Let me tell you what I mean.
Most people get married in pomp and circumstance. We did. We had a great big, fancy church wedding with a whole lot of people. I mean, like 450 people. It was large. But that's not so many, considering we sent out 600 invitations. Over a hundred of those invitations went overseas, where we'd been living for the last five months. And our wedding was large because we were two hometown kids who had fathers with somewhat high profile jobs at the university.
These things happen. It was an event, our wedding was. Not exactly what we'd imagined when we were planning it across the ocean in Epe, Holland. But our moms got a hold of the plans. Moms do. Beve's mom was a party person. She liked events. She liked planning things, liked hosting them. My mom? Not so much. But she also didn't like being outdone by the tall (er) woman across the street she'd always felt a bit intimidated by. So when they got together, all our ideas--like the women wearing simple knee-length dresses and the groomsmen wearing sweaters--went out the window. Before we'd been back in the states a week, I'd picked out material for bridesmaid dresses that bore a striking resemblance to Princess Di's dress, and the men were being fitted for tuxedos. It spiraled into this wedding. I mean, a WEDDING.
Don't get me wrong, I loved our wedding. It was sweet and good and ours. Beve surprised me by singing to me right in the middle, we wrote our own vows, sang worship songs we'd brought home from YWAM, and included many people we loved (and we made them speak!). I wouldn't change a thing (well, maybe one or two...but not the essence).
Still, it wasn't the wedding that I think about when I think about celebrating May 12th. It's our 30 years of marriage. It's life together. And most of that life has been in the trenches of dailiness. We got pregnant five months after our wedding, so for the last 29 years, our marriage has also had children a part of it. I wouldn't change that either. We didn't have the luxury of years to get to know each other, or to travel, or many things others do sans kids (though we had those things before we married). We learned to make space for each other around the needs of children. We're still doing that. We still have a child living at home (adult though he is). Someday, we think. But in the mean time, we carve out time for each other amid needs.
It isn't always romance.
I guess that's what I'm trying to say.
There's been a whole lot of ordinary.
There's been a lot of trauma, even.
One of us (usually Beve) has had to care for the other.
Monday was a day like that.
Beve was the one who needed the caring for.
I was the one who got to do the caring.
I liked that. I liked being the one to take care of him for once, though when it comes right down to it, I don't know what I could do, if he went down.
See, Beve has Meniere's Disease. It's a disease of the inner ear. His left ear rings constantly. Sometimes it also causes such terrible vertigo--SPINNING--that the sufferer can't move. This happened to Beve Monday at work. By the time I got there, he was lying on the couch in his office, lights off, trash can beside him for the inevitable vomiting. He couldn't possibly walk to the car. I've seen him knock down towel bars and fall flat on his face during a Meniere's attack. And he's a large man, one I couldn't possibly keep from falling. After a whole lot of phone calls, I finally got to his Ear, Nose and Throat dr through the back door (eg, his cell-phone!). It's been 8 years since his last attack, so the front office wouldn't just give him a note to prescribe the needed meds without an appointment. But Beve couldn't possibly go to an appointment without the needed meds. Can you say Catch-22?
An hour or so later, meds working, spinning abating, he was drowsy enough that we could walk out to the car, drive home where he slept it off for 4 hours.
And that's what I call a real anniversary. Or at least, real life on our anniversary.
I like it that way. I felt helpless at first, then very glad to be able to DO something for him.
Then glad he was better.
Seeing Beve laid low is my least favorite thing.
Helping him is my MOST favorite.
And really, isn't that what marriage is all about?
For better or worse?
Thirty years in, I'd say so!