Amy and I recently celebrated our 33rd wedding anniversary. This big event has caused me to do lots of reminiscing about our years together. When we met, we were little more than adolescents. We have now gone through young adulthood and middle-age together and sit on the cusp of our golden years. Hard to believe how fast it went.
As many young couples, we got off to a rocky start. Looking back, I believe nothing short of a miracle of God kept us together through those early years. Don’t get me wrong, we had mostly happy times, but had to go through all the growing pains that cause so many marriages to fail. I’m talking about those things the experts tell you to work out before marriage but many of us are so anxious to tie the knot that we worry about them later, such as agreeing on how to raise the kids and manage the finances. And it didn’t help that I worked long, unusual hours, both of us attended school, and we had young children.
Our start may have been rocky, but it was not without its comedic moments. We got married in my bandmate Mike Murphy’s backyard. Like virtually all American weddings, the plan was for Amy and her attendants to enter the ceremony to the Wedding March. We had a vinyl copy of it on a phonograph that was set up outside (For you young people, this was an ancient method of listening to recorded music. The version of this recording that had one song per side was called a single, AKA “45” which designated the correct RPM to set the turntable). Keep in mind this was the afternoon of July 17 and the temperature was probably in the 90’s. When it was about time for the procession to begin, Mike’s wife, Cathy, ran up to the groomsmen who were waiting at the front and in a panic exclaimed, “Mike, the record melted, what are we going to do!?” Mike calmly replied, “It’s no big deal, just go in Misty’s (their daughter) room and get a love song out of her stack of 45’s.” Unfortunately, Cathy was not all that well-versed on pop music and didn’t really know which songs were love songs. She came across a Barry Manilow song and thought, this has to be a love song, after all, it’s Barry Manilow! You older folks might remember phonographs were equipped with an arm that if left in the up position would cause the song to play over and over. Cathy launched the Manilow tune and inadvertently left the arm up. The song she chose was called Looks Like We Made It. It is about a man and woman who used to be together but had split up, and now they are ostensibly doing okay. I guess Amy was having a “wardrobe malfunction” or perhaps getting cold feet, but for whatever reason it took her forever to emerge from the house. So our wedding song was a song about divorce and it played about six times while everyone awkwardly waited.
Amy and I seem to have weathered the storm and our marriage has been wonderful for many years. It, well, looks like we made it! But I have learned that one can never rest on his laurels. In a recent blog, I recalled some happy memories with my parents and have generally good recollections of my childhood and their marriage. Sadly, they eventually decided to call it quits after 34 years of marriage, so I know better than most that it can happen to anyone.
Wives and husbands, please don’t take each other for granted. Marriage is not a finished product that can be placed on a shelf to gather dust, but rather a living work in progress that must be nurtured to survive.
“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Peter 4:8).