A Golden Wedding Anniversary: My Remarks

One recent Saturday, we had quite a day! Why do I feel compelled to post this here? Because it was such a great, unusual day. Because I recommend combining a significant anniversary with another significant family event, like a wedding, or a proposal of marriage. Because, in my old age, I feel like shouting out to the world about something great.

At 12 noon, one son married a young, vivacious Spanish-American woman. Then finger-foods and other great delicacies.

After the marriage ceremony, my wife and I were toasted on our fifty golden years. I responded with this, finished in the last second before we had to leave to go to the doings:
50½ years ago, the stream of my life
merged with the stream of her life,
where we encountered a small dam of attraction.

And there it was!! There she was!! Dam!!

We began to build a higher dam
to pool my rising delight.
We put in store our burgeoning friendship,
filling our lake with companionship,
and then it became a sea of partnership,
and, as the dam rose, an ocean of respect.

And playfulness, in games of wit and smiles and laughter.
And the play of eyes in short glances, too hot.
And hands entwined in strange, electrifying touch.
And a jumping joy in being there with—
And knowing, wordless inexpressibles.

Love is a reservoir, holding everything that binds two together
in a lasting relationship.
Love is an impoundment of admiration, fidelity, loyalty, and humor.
Love can be weighty,
but our dam was equal to the task.

For some the dam will break and a torrent released.
The threat will always be there.
But not this dam.

There might be the algae of conflict clouding the waters.
But seldom for us.

There is the dense weedy bottom of the vicissitudes of everyday business and labor, obligations and duties, financial fortune and mis-fortune, physical misfortune and mishap.

Then small fry appear in the pool, demanding vigilant care.

But after a half century,
five percent of a millennium,
five decades,
fifty years,
six hundred months,
eighteen thousand days,
four hundred thirty-two thousand hours,
twenty-five million nine hundred twenty thousand minutes,
of sleeping and waking time together, discounted a bit for being apart at times,
I must conclude that being married to her is the longest I have ever held one job.

The dam that had to contain a sea of symmetries
and then an ocean of obligations,
was built over time and can never be overbuilt,
(like my engineer friend, Fred, once told me the Hoover Dam was overbuilt.)
Love is a reservoir filled with respect and devotion over many years,
against the time when the drought will come.

Then another son arose and made a proposal of marriage (finally!!) to his lady friend of many, many years. She said yes. He gave her the engagement ring that my wife’s mother was given by my wife’s father sometime between 90 and 100 hundred years ago. No date has been set yet for the emplacement of the final ring.

Ah, the dancing!
There was the bride in her wedding dress, dancing solo in her fiery flamencan style of the Andalusian gypsies. Then pairs, the children taking fire from the adults. (There was no fire in our ritual dance; my knees, you know.) Then a large group flung themselves into something called the YMCA, among other crowd steps I could not follow.

We had on display fifty years of Xmas cards on an easle, and a portrait in chalk of my wife in her wedding veil, created by our dear friend (now dec.) 50 years ago as a wedding present. But the artist’s daughter came from Portland, OR, to be with us. The son who proposed created a beautiful montage of photos covering the family years.

One other thing. The wedding march played on a boom box was a CD made from the reel-to-reel taped recording that we made of our wedding. Perfect!

I am so fortunate that Fred’s wife introduced me to her sorority sister. My first glimpse of my wife came when this lady sat down in a seat one row behind me and over a bit toward the wall at the back of the old Opera House where I sat one fall night, directing a rehearsal of a Theatre Guild production of a play, “Stalag 17”, in which Fred had a part (Hoffy). Later, Fred and his wife invited me over as a fourth for bridge. The first hand I picked up was all spades except one card. I smelled a rat. Fred said nothing.

I proposed on our first date. We married six months later.
And we have had a history.

Published in: on July 3, 2008 at 10:37 am  Leave a Comment  

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