Thursday, June 17, 2010

32 years

It wasn't until I was paying bills after work that I realized exactly what today is. It would have been my 32nd wedding anniversary.

When I got married, I was certain it was a forever event. I had helped my parents with their 25th wedding anniversary and had participated in 50th anniversaries including that of my former in-laws. I was certain we would celebrate 25 years. Carole would be in college and we could plan a cruise or a trip somewhere. Sometimes, the thought of being with the same person for the rest of my life irked me, especially where there were the inevitable tussles over silly things, but I always thought we'd fix whatever was broken and move on.

Well, life has a way of dousing expectations. As 20 years approached and it was clear we weren't going to celebrate that happily, I mentioned how sad I was to my therapist. I mentioned how I couldn't believe how things had changed. She have me a rather funny look and asked if I was the same person at age 41 as I was when I was 15. I laughed at the slightly ridiculous question. Why did I think that, just because I got married, life wasn't going to change and, therefore, me along with it? Oooh good question.

32 years ago, I was starry-eyed, hanging up my wedding dress on the door of the upstairs room in my parent's house and preparing to leave for a driving trip around Lake Superior. We didn't have a late dance. We had a buffet dinner and sat around with family and friends on my parent's front porch until it was time to leave. The aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, siblings, long-time friends and short time met-in-college friends filled my parent's house with joy and happiness. The whole world was open to us and I think, had we totaled up the years of marriage then, it would have been over 1,000. You kept going through thick and thin, bitter and sweet.

Sometimes the walk together doesn't work out as you planned. It was not easy to say it was over, but I did and I've moved on. It hasn't always been the happiest of solo walks but I've done it and it is what it is. Still, 32 years. What would we have done to celebrate? Probably what we did for 18 of those years we were together, gone out to eat.

Beverage: Tropic 50 orange drink


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