Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My 25th Wedding Anniversary
Today is my 25th wedding anniversary. Wow. I could never have imagined - dreamed - hoped - that the adventure on which I embarked 25 years ago today would turn out so well. That day remains a blur to me. Starting with my first - and only - barbershop shave at Lords and Lady's Hair Salon in West Roxbury, MA to the end of the night with my sister confronting a bully towering over her in the Hammond Bar in Brookline at 1 am, I only remember moments, but not the day as a whole. In between those two "moments," I committed myself eternally to my wife, Rita, and she to me. Twenty-five years later that commitment is strong and, in fact, growing. The love endures, the cause lives on and the dream will never die.....(sorry, I think I just channeled Ted Kennedy).
In the past twenty five years, we built a family. Danny (19) and Bridget (15) make us proud every day. They are both smart and reasonably well-behaved kids. But what makes us most proud is their hearts. They both have caring and compassionate hearts. I'd like to think we had something to do with that, but we've all seen excellent parents produce troublesome kids, so there must a bit of good fortune or God's will in it, as well. Suffice it to say, it's a blessing we both treasure.
In my observation, there are two kinds of successful marriages. One is when two people, who are similar, bond in their similarities. They have a joint mission and they accomplish it together. Because they see themselves in each other, they form a mutual admiration society. It's sickening.
Then there are the marriages where couples are different, but complement each other, which produces a somewhat more tumultuous relationship. But, probably a more honest one. That's Rita and me. We are different. I am lazy. Rita works very hard. I am undisciplined and disorderly. Rita is neat and organized. I am self absorbed. Rita is utterly unselfish. I think we've changed a bit over the years. I've tried to make Rita more lazy, without much success. I have made inroads in terms of disorderliness. She has come to tolerate the smallest bit of clutter in the house.
My one regret is that I have not adopted Rita's thoughtfulness and unselfishness. I remain pretty self absorbed. This blog is evidence of that. But Rita is the most "other" directed person I've ever known. She is constantly thinking of others and trying to help in whatever problems, large or small, that they confront.
Of course, I am the beneficiary of this quality of hers in two ways. She's very thoughtful toward me, which is only occasionally reciprocated. But more importantly, her nurturing approach to friends and family has built a community around our family that would simply not exist without her. The older I get, the more I appreciate the relationships I have with other people. And thanks to Rita, we are blessed with a wide circle.
So, happy anniversary, Rita. I love you. And see how thoughtful I am? When somebody asks you what I gave you for our anniversary, you can say...
"A blog post."
How many wives of 25 years can say that?