This weekend I attended the wedding of my childhood best friend’s 78-year-old grandmother, a woman who I’ve only ever called “Grandma Gus.” Grandpa Gus passed away a few years back and this spring she met Ray on a Norwegian cruse. A whirlwind courtship later, Grandma Gus and Ray tied the knot on July 4th in the backyard where I grew up playing Lost Kids with Renee and the other neighborhood kids.
The engagement threw a lot of people for various reasons. My mother’s reaction to the news was the most hilarious. She waved her hands and “pshawed” and exclaimed in a very uncharacteristic way, “Well, when I die, make sure your father doesn’t remarry just any old hussy!” As if that is something Daddy would be likely to do.
The pastor at the wedding mentioned that he felt like he had no wisdom to offer a couple with a combined total of 84 years of solid, healthy marriage experience between them. He did manage to come up with something, though I missed it all because John decided at that moment he needed to find the “Wedding Potty.” Which is too bad because today we celebrated our, in comparison, very youthful marriage of seven years and always need the good advice. I hardly know how to quantify these seven years in a way that makes sense. Possession-wise, we really don’t have anything more than we did back when first got married other than one very nice crib. We have a few extra academic degrees, two children, and many enriching, challenging experiences. And a much deeper understand of the commitment we made to each other that day – a commitment that, for all our talking about it beforehand, we barely understood the full ramifications of.
To have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.