A Golden Wedding Anniversary: My Remarks

One (2008) 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 misfortune, 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. [UPDATE NOTE: They married on All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween, 2009) and have had their first annioversary.]

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 PHOTO-Xmas cards on an easel, and a portrait in chalk of my wife in her wedding veil, created by our dear friend (now deceased) 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, Edith Wood (sadly now deceased) 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 Edie 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.

But the Dam Broke!

I became a widower in April, 2012. The dam broke, and I went over it and have been mortally injured by that catastrophe. There have been many “If only…..” thoughts. A great beauty has exited from my life.

I am once more alone, as I was for the 15 years living just before the marriage. Now the gold is in the memories. Everyone says, “O, you’ll see her again.” They, thinking to console me, do not expect my reply.

I have taken an interest in that whole question, revisiting my views about the soul and life after—-. They are referring to God’s plan, the religious plan.

I do know what the “plan” is, to a certain extent, as I have conceived it. The “good”, you have to earn, using the sane brain. That is all we will have, and that is whatever we have turned over to reason and effort (thought and work). Just reason and effort. You can carry those to a genius level, or to whatever level you you have in you for brain powered achievement. That’s the plan. It has come through evolution, from the “ape” days. Now that is one long learning effort and in cycles, with some sinking into “dark ages” along the way. The advantages of today are much greater compared to what was available back then, early. There are some truly remarkable ages yet to come, we being on that doorstep now to enter new environments that can be envisioned, and are foreseen. The plan says you must make yourself ready with some “adaptability” shaking off some old “adaptations” only good for the present. Take guns, for instance, as an old adaptation! More and more we must substitute new habits that are a substitution of education in reasoning, for one thing, for whatever it is that the need for guns (and armies) has stood for. That’s the plan. All you need is a brain to flex, like a form of muscle.

Published on July 3, 2008 at 10:16 am  Comments (89)  


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