anniversaries: 50 years!

Louisa and Samuel in Ireland, 2013

This is a very special post for me because these two sweet people are my parents, Louisa and Samuel! They have been married for 50 years. FIFTY YEARS!!! What a milestone! I asked my mother to share some of her thoughts about their wedding and their marriage as she looked back over the last 1/2 century. 

I'm so grateful to my parents for showing me the meaning of marriage, that true love exists, that hard work on a relationship is rewarding, and that love can transform individuals, families, communities and the world. I love you two!

I hope you find my mother's thoughts interesting, inspiring, and insightful. 

When and where did you get married? In 1963 at Summerlane School, in New Jersey.

What did you like most about your wedding? We were surrounded by young children, all in a circle, each one with a flower in their hands, who witnessed our vows. Also, we chose to have Kahlil Gibran's poem about marriage read, and that was inspirational.

What would you have done differently about your wedding? I would have had a slightly larger wedding to include close relatives. We chose to have two friends as witnesses, which was nice, but I think family has a special place at a wedding.

What changed after you got married? The only change for us was that we now lived together.

What surprised you the most about being married? I don't recall being surprised! My husband tells me I should answer this question, "How much we have to compromise!"

What do you like most about being married? Sharing!!! I love sharing the enjoyment of our children and grandchildren. I love sharing everything – the worries, the anxieties, the happiness, the joys, the working together and resting together. I love all the memories we share of a long life together. Hmmm...probably should have said "togetherness" too!

What advice do you have for engaged couples or newlyweds? Relationships are NOT easy. But don't give up – persevere, be open to change and look for ways to work through the difficult times.  Struggling through the hard times and coming out the other side makes the sweet times so precious. (And see the words about Attitude at the end of this interview. Those words inspire me!)

If you could change one thing about your marriage, what would it be? I honestly cannot think of anything I would change. It's so incredible (but not perfect) the way it is, I couldn't ask for any more.

Would you ever consider renewing your vows? We did consider renewing our vows for our 50th Anniversary and having a big party. But we decided to use our energy to plan a wonderful trip to Ireland to honor our 50 years "traveling" together, side by side!! Our song is: "Oh, we ain't got a barrel of money, maybe we're ragged and funny but we travel along singing our song, side by side!!" There are lots more verses, all which describe our life together!

Anything else? Yes! Some wise words to inspire!

Attitude

The longer I live the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than fact. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. It will make or break a company, a church, a home. The remarkable thing is, we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrce for that day. We cannot change our past, we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certin way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our Attitudes.

by Charles Swindoll

And...along those same lines.

I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it is only a choice of attitude.

by Judith M. Knowlton