Last week I celebrated my 24th wedding anniversary, unfortunately it was the same day of my brother-n-law Jimmy’s untimely passing. We flew up to Stanford Medical Center to join family in spending our last moments together, showering Jimmy with prayers and song. It was a sad day, one I will never forget, and I pray I never have to experience my own child dying before my eyes.
We eloped to the island of Kauai and had a simple ceremony witnessed by my dear friend Blaine and her then husband Bob. The small chapel was filled with strangers that Reggie recruited from the hotel. I was worried that no one was going to be there, so this was his solution, run around the hotel inviting everyone to come to our wedding unbeknown to me of course. This was Reggie’s second marriage and at the time we felt it was best to have a low key ceremony, of course the inner bride is alive and well inside of me and is jones-ing for a 25th wedding vow renewal next year with all the trimmings.
Fast forward 24 years; we have been blessed with a daughter and a son, we have both lost siblings, survived bankruptcy, abuse from the IRS, stroke, acquired a new office 100 miles away, fishetarian, vegetarian, vegan, raw vegan, a kitchen remodel, plus or minus 15 pounds, reading glasses, interesting family dynamics, marathons, triathlons, the end of the long silky perm era, and oh I can’t forget menopause and we are STILL TOGETHER!
Our marriage is very similar to training for a triathlon. Swimming, biking, and running are the events you have to somewhat master in order to complete the triathlon, in marriage you also have to participate in all the parts, you can’t pick and choose , and expect to finish the race. There will be some parts you like and some you will loathe. You may at times get discouraged and want to quit, but you know just like that early morning ocean swim, once you get wet you are fine. When your training is consistent, you become stronger, just like in marriage when you are slacking in a few areas you have to work harder or else before you know it you will just settle for mediocracy accepting “whatever” as your norm.
Crossing the triathlon finish line, you are overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishment, the excitement trickles through your entire body, you quickly forget about the hours you put in, the setbacks and injuries. In marriage you have to keep “training” for those peaks, and remember the “dating” phase and DO what you DID then, that made you want to close the deal. The “training” is a lifelong commitment that can be truly rewarding, so if you have been a little lack, dust off those running shoes and go for a spin around the track.