Friday, August 03, 2007


Today I have been married 33 years. I only have two more years till I am off probation. 33 years seems like a very long time but it has passed by quickly. In those years my wife and I have experienced everything we spoke in our wedding vows. There have been good times and bad times. We've had money and we have been broke. There has been sickness and good health. Today we have a competition to see who's on the most prescription drugs. We had four years alone together before my oldest son was born. Four years later his brother came along. Although there has been struggle, we are still together and I am glad of that. It has required work and patience on both of our parts. There were some years in my life when I felt overwhelmed by marriage and family life but overall it has provided stability in my life that has been good for me. My wife is a good woman and a great mother although I have to occasionally remind her that I am not her third son. Recently I was asked how marriage has deepened my relationship with God. It is difficult for me to answer that question without including family life. 29 years of my marriage has included children and now a daughter in law and granddaughter. Marriage itself is often used as a metaphor for our relationship with God. Part of the theology of God speaks of relationships and community. Isn't that what marriage and family life is all about? In my life, and I imagine the lives of many, the marriage and family relationships while living together in community provide both the joy and occasionally the pain of life. My marriage and family life have been mostly good but not without conflict and struggle. Of course when I look backwards it is not the conflict and struggle I remember. It is all the Christmas mornings, summer vacations, and celebration dinners when the goodness of life was acknowledged and laughter filled the room. No lifestyle lived in relationship with others will succeed without a lot of give and take and compromise. My wife and I still argue about the proper way to load a dishwasher. I fail every test that she secretly gives me. She's still a worrywart and I am still a little anal retentive and occasionally obsessive compulsive. I don't understand her fascination with clothes and shoes and she wonders when I am going to get over rock and roll or what the heck I do when I go to the monastery. We are not the same people we were in 1974 when I was 23 years old and she was 21. We have very distinct personalities that sometimes clash. Somehow, magically and mysteriously, all of this has worked for 33 years. Anyway, my parents have been married for 58 years so I am still a lightweight.

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