It seems like such a long time, and yet it doesn't seem long ago. But life is like that. It passes by at such speed, yet often days seem to drag.
But as I was saying...it is forty-two years today since Steve and I were married. Forty-two years of shared happiness, sorrow, joy, tears, frustration, arguments, devastations, surprises and yes, sometimes even boredom. We have experienced most of what life can dish up and now we embark on our future years with all that experience and commonality.
I was married as a twenty year old. My expectation was for a family with lots of kids, maybe five, leading a normal, always happy life, for ever after. It never occurred to me that one day I'd be old, or that I'd be married to an old man, though I did expect in years to come that I'd have a bald husband. At that time, I thought anyone over forty was ancient!
And I never expected to have to wash windows, or clean the loo, or wipe up vomit in the middle of the night. As I said...I was young!
Once married, we soon discovered we had different expectations. I thought a husband always bought his wife a cuppa first thing in the morning. That's what my Dad did. Didn't that happen in all marriages? He expected long cosy mornings, sleeping in as long as possible and couldn't grasp the concept of a wife who wanted to get up early enough to see the sunrise! By the end of the honeymoon some realities were beginning to set in!
Then, despite our plans, children didn't come either. Adoption bought us our two wonderful children, but there was no hope of three, let alone five. (Steve was secretly relieved about that!)
So forty-two years later I look back. Has life been easy? Has marriage been all joy, love and laughter? No, but its been good...very good!
I'm thankful for an amazing husband who understands everything about me - well the basics anyway! I'm grateful for his steadiness and steadfastness that has been an anchor stabilizing my impulsive and crazy ways. I'm pleased that my impulsive and crazy ways have stretched him to greater adventures and achievements than he ever dreamed possible.
I'm thankful for the really hard valleys that have trained us, strengthened us and led us into a deeper relationship with God. When I look back over my life together, the stand out memories are those times when we have helped each other get through the seeming impossibilities that life has thrown at us.
And I'm thankful for eight wonderful grandchildren! What a privilege it is to be a grandma.
But mostly I'm thankful for a marriage covenant that has melded two people together; the commitment that held us close through the storms and trials. Its the tough places that produced our oneness, a unity that's only possible when two individuals have been tempered by life's fire.
Now, leaning on each other, we can walk into the most exciting years - they are just in front of us. Yes, we are privileged. Not many are as fortunate as we. We count ourselves blessed!