Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Who Forgets Their Wedding Anniversary?

Kevin and I have been married over three decades. We've actally been living together since I was fifteen (he was only seventeen). We were too young to get 'officially' married at that age, so we just lived together until we were old enough. A lot of people ask how we could have made it so long, or how we overcame the odds that such a young marriage has of disintegrating. I really don't have the answer.

I could say many things about marriage. I kind of feel I've earned that right. It's hard work, luck, painful at times, a lot of respect and communication is involved, and love each other through thick and thin. To me, these are platitudes. Blah, blah, blah. I mean, it's all true but what does it really mean?

I can honestly say that we have overcome obstacles that would deservedly ruin a marriage, things that have almost destroyed us personally. For example, I was a trauma patient that put me in a hospital over sixty miles away from home for three months. I was nineteen years old, and we had a two year old. Kevin worked during the day, drove those miles to see me at night, slept in his car in the parking lot so he could kiss me in the morning and then drive back to work. He did this for three months. It's incomprehensible to me at this point. All I can say is that when you're young, you really do have more energy. That's not to diminish what he did. He's my Superman. We have many more, just as challenging, stories like that. 

I believe that my marriage is like Kintsukuroi pottery. It's a bowl that has been cracked many times. Each time it was repaired with gold, making it more beautiful and valuable than before. It is more beautiful for being broken. Not that our marriage was broken, but the challenges we've faced could have easily done so.

Last week was our anniversary. We had talked about it the week before. When the day came, Kevin kissed me before leaving for work, as he does every morning. I looked at my calendar, went to an appointment, and hit the grocery store. As I was on my way home, it occurred me that it was our anniversary. So, I texted him, "It's our anniversary, and we both forgot!". His reply was, "I'm sorry I forgot". I told him that I was sorry too, and that it was ok. We had both been down with the crud (that still lingers), sleeping like babies, and working on getting him through a work day so he could come home and take a hot bath, eat, and sleep. We were exhausted. (Yet, he still managed to bring me home chocolate covered strawberries from my favorite chocolatier.)

It was perfectly ok to forget our anniversary. We had a lot going on. It doesn't mean we love each other any less. It means that we didn't have the time or energy to celebrate us on that particular day. No more. No less. No hidden meanings. I can remember being younger and waiting to see if he would forget. It was almost as if I wanted him to fail me. Then I could have my feelings hurt and he would have to make it up to me, I suppose. It was immature. I was immature. I'm so thankful we have lived through that phase. I'm thankful we're not that fragile anymore. We were all pottery and no gold. 

Because of all our obstacles, I am thankful for my marriage. It has brought us through some tough times. I love my husband. I know he loves me. I know he loves me. We are reaping the benefits of a love built over time and trial. He is my rock in this world. It's ok that we forgot our anniversary, because every day we have our marriage. We count on it. Every day. We celebrate us every day. The anniversary is just a reminder of that. In fact, I'm kind of glad we forgot. It gave me the opportunity to explore our reactions to forgetting, and to add a tiny little layer of gold to a very small crack in our pottery. Happy Anniversary Kevin. I love you.