Tuesday, October 6, 2009

TWENTY FIVE Years. . . . . . .

It’s not often that I could tell you what I was doing on an exact day twenty five years prior.

But today I can.

I was getting married … to the great love of my life.

Yes, today is Lee’s and my twenty fifth wedding anniversary. A milestone indeed!

We were not youngsters when we took the plunge. We’d both been around the block, so to speak, and had been married once before. Given our previous experiences, we were by no means impulsive in our decision to get married. In fact, we’d been together in a committed relationship for over three years before we finally decided to make the final more “permanent” step. And even then, I think we were both more than a little nervous!

But look how well it all turned out. . .here we are, twenty five years later, as much in love and dare I say, even more committed to each other than we were in those early years of our relationship. I don’t know how many couples can say that, but I’m certainly glad that we are among those who can.

Today, as I recall that day twenty five years ago, there are certain memories that remain fresh in my mind, some poignant and some downright laughable (well, I should say they’re laughable now. . .maybe they weren’t at the time).

And as I take my little mental trip down memory lane today, I thought I’d share just a few of these memorable snippets with you. . . . . . .

Neither Lee nor I were regular churchgoers back then (nor now), so we didn’t have a church of our choice within which to get married. Yet, we didn’t just want a civil service, so his parents asked their pastor if he would perform our marriage ceremony in our back yard.

That summer preceding our October wedding, Lee and I worked long and hard in our back yard, planting a new perimeter garden of multi-colored annuals, weeding and watering it daily, adding new flowers as some of the old ones died out. By the end of the summer our little garden looked quite lovely, if I do say so myself!

But as early October approached here in northern Utah and the chill starting creeping in at night, we began to watch the weather forecast every evening, worried that an early frost would render our flowers withered and wilted before our wedding day. Thankfully, we were spared an early frost that year, and our flower garden backdrop was as colorful and cheerful as we could ever have hoped.

For our wedding music, we invited a friend to play the guitar and sing a couple of songs of our choice. The songs were, Evergreen, and Longer Than. . . . . even now, the lyrics and music of both these songs touch my heart.

Our ceremony included a favorite section from The Prophet by Kahil Gibran.

Love one another but make not a bondage of love;

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each of you be alone;

Even as the strings of the lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

And stand together yet not too near together

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oat tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow

But let there be spaces in your togetherness

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

And Lee and I participated in the writing of our own simple but special vows:

I promise to love and respect you.

I promise not to take you for granted.

I promise to express my feelings openly, and to encourage you to do the same.

I promise to maintain my sense of humor.

I promise to remain committed to our growing relationship, and to make every effort to work through conflicts as they arise.

Like many couples, we’ve had our ups and downs over the years, but I think I can honestly say, as I re-read these vows that we made to each other twenty five years ago, that we’ve done pretty well at honoring them. And for that, I’m proud of us both.

I’m embarrassed to admit, as I write this blog entry, that I never finished putting our Wedding Album together! I bought a lovely photo/memories album way back then, and although I did put photos in it, I never completed my plans for making it into a memory album. I guess there’s still time!

On this, the twenty fifth year anniversary of Lee’s and my wedding, I do feel motivated once again to complete that album/memory book. And when I do, there are a few more special memories that I intend to include in it, like these:

  • My one and only sister coming from Kansas to be my Maid of Honor, and Lee’s longest time and best friend coming from California to be Best Man

  • Lee’s favorite aunt and uncle from New York City flying out to Salt Lake to attend our wedding

  • My sister noticing the terrible state that my fingernails were in the afternoon just before our wedding, and offering to give me a manicure!(I’ve always been and continue to be to this day, very neglectful of my fingernails)

  • Our quirky caterer (a moonlighting would-be chef) nipping on scotch the entire time he was preparing our wedding refreshments, and ending up overbaking his “famous” liver pate, rendering it inedible

  • Our sweet dogs at the time, Lucky and Mutt Mutt, having to experience a kennel for the very first time, during our at-home wedding and subsequent honeymoon

  • Our vacation-honeymoon in Cannon Beach, Oregon. . . our first visit to the area (We’ve now been back twice again, and it continues to be one of our favorite places to spend time. . .even during chilly October!)

The ensuing twenty five years have been filled with so very many more special moments and memories. We have worked, traveled, enjoyed the company of family and friends, nurtured long lasting friendships and developed new ones, loved (and lost) a number of very special canine companions, laughed, cried, and faced numerous challenges together.

Throughout all of this, I think we have grown and emerged stronger individually and have become even more committed as a couple.

Today, the commemoration of our twenty fifth year of marriage, is indeed a special day to us. Thank you for sharing in it.

Until we meet again. . .. . I (We) wish you love.


Anonymous said...

What a great love story Jan...thanks for sharing and here's to many more. I, too, am married to the love of my life and it just keeps getting better.

Kori said...

Thanks for sharing your wedding day with us. Happy 25th anniversary and I hope you have many many more happy and wonderful years together.

Life With Dogs said...

So very touching Jan - you two lovebirds are an example for the rest of us. Belated wishes from your friends in Vermont!

Times And Chimes said...

Happy Anniversary!

Chester said...

What a wonderful anniversary post. You are 2 very special people who were meant to be together. Life is not always easy but determination and a sense of humor play major roles in making it to 25. (I can only attest to 19 but hope for 25)

Best wishes for many, many more together!
Thanks for letting us have a peek into who you are and what has worked for you.

Chester's Mom ;0=)

Jan said...

And thank you ALL.. . Sandi, Kori, Neil, Angie, and Michelle, for taking the time to read my Anniversary post.

Blogging has become a way for me to express what's in my heart, and I'm honored that I was able to share my musings on this special day with each of you special people.

Lazy Bone said...

Thats Beautiful!

Loredana said...

My big congrats... for your marriage and also for your artworks!

Oz Girl said...

Jan, how wonderful. You two do make the sweetest couple. A belated congratulations from my hubby and I (and the pupsters) on your long life together, it is truly an accomplishment in today's trying times. Wishing you both many more happy anniversaries!