This year – specifically today – he and I celebrate 40 years since we said “I do”. I was even proud to leave in “obey” as part of those traditional vows. Things (and we) have changed just a bit.
We’ve had a lovely getaway in a very nice Airbnb not too far from home to celebrate the weekend – especially since our Ireland trip this fall is on hold. 😦 We’re enjoying each other’s company, and do not take this sweet companionship for granted. We visited the beautiful Natural Bridge State Park, we indulged in a couple of delicious Crozet Pizza’s pies, and talked and read and simply rested in this quiet space.
He was asking me a week or two ago about pivotal moments in my life. He named a few in his. Many of my moments in the early years are in response to his pivotal moments, something he paused to consider in our discussion. Maybe even had a bit of regret. But one example: the decision to move to Virginia would not have happened without his drive and decision. I was still in my “obey” / submission phase, obviously – but it was ultimately a great choice for our family. (Understand – If I had strongly objected, we’d still be in Connecticut. He’s courageous, not stupid.)
We made a decision about committing our lives together and didn’t really know what that meant. How could we? We had only begun to grow up, but we thought we knew enough. He confidently said that divorce was not going to be in our vocabulary. Looking back, we had such innocence in believing that there would never be a situation that we wouldn’t be able to work out. In all of the decades since, thankfully we have never been close to considering separation. Compatible personalities and clinging together during challenging times helped.
We’ve known each other as best friends since age 18. It’s amazing to realize how we’ve evolved through the decades and still remained best friends. His faithfulness to me, and love and respect for me, has always been present. In the years where the word submission was something I viewed as part of my duty, thankfully there was no oppression from him. Leadership yes, force no. (I’m a bit of a follower naturally, to be honest.)
Over this past decade, we continue to evolve in our marriage (as well as in our faith walks). We’ve left – and continue to leave – certain ideas behind, and have embraced new ideas and spiritual practices. Some of the changes are not entirely visible to observers, and are just for us to experience. He’s a great partner on this journey.
Lest it all sounds too idyllic, there are still plenty of quirks and things we do to drive each other a bit crazy but I am his mourning dove. (He greeted me “good morning love” once morning recently – and I thought he’d called me “ah, my mourning dove” as he saw me – a bird we listen to outside on the deck. We laughed but it seems I am now his “mourning dove” forever more.