16,790 days, give or take a few, refers to the number of 24 hour periods I've spent married to my hubby. Yesterday we celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary, and we're both still in it for the long haul. To say that every single minute of every single day has been gloriously happy would be a downright lie! To say that every single minute of every single day has been a living hell would also be grossly untrue! But, to say that every single minute of every single day has been worth it, is an extreme understatement because our life together has been exactly that, WORTH IT!
We were so young in 1968 and hadn't a clue what marriage entailed. We're, let's say, much older now, and I must confess at times still don't get it. Yet we keep trying because of our commitment to each other hasn't waivered one iota. When we spoke our vows to have, to hold, and to love, we meant it. When we agreed that for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or in health until death, we meant it.
We became parents to our beautiful daughter, Joy, seven months after we said "I do." Thirteen months later, our son, Barry, came along. Needless to say, with my hubby working eight hours to pay the bills, and me caring full time for two babies and holding down the fort, we had little time for each other. On most days, hellos, good-byes, and good nights comprised the totality of our conversations. Since we were only engaged four months after we met, and then married seven months later, we knew squat, one about the other. Heck, I didn't know what foods he hated which turned out to be that he loved everything except pigs feet and he didn't even know my full name, Florence Frances Agnes Kolton Barnett! I didn't know he wasn't a fan of the beach, and he certainly didn't know I would be a beach bum for the rest of my life without complaint. We both were guilty of not knowing one another's favorite color! Imagine?
But over the years we slowly realized that all of who we were and what we wanted out of life would reveal itself eventually. All we needed to do was pay attention. Sometimes when we did just that, our lives were blissfully happy. However when our observations diminished or were totally nonexistent, our lives were taken over by resentment and hurt. Arguments ensued and days of silence took over our household. Not only did we suffer, but our children did as well. Even though they were quite young, they felt the tension and disconnect. Seperately we tried to attend to the needs of our daughter and son, but know that their lives were negatively changed. How could they not be!
After decades of practicing to understand one another and make compromises for the good of our family, did our marriage improve immensely. Today we know pretty much everything about each other and accept the foibles and quirks the are part of our beings the we had a difficult time tolerating way back when. We laugh at how silly we were in trying to be right instead of being happy.
Oh, I would be remiss if I didn't mention out third child, Kristy, who was born eight years after her brother. Although I was highly upset at first, over time we both realized that she was the best thing that could have happened to us. We were older and had been there, done that already, but we were wiser, too. We not only had quality time with only one baby to care for, but we definitely made sure to be there for each other.
16,790 days seems like a long time, but actually it isn't. We still have a lot to learn about each other, and hopefully we'll have the time to do it. Our life together has been fruitful, we have seven amazing grandchildren to dote on. Have there been bumps along the road? Definitely!
But on day, 16,791, give or take a few, we're still commitment and it's 100% with out a doubt, WORTH IT!