August 2 is my parent's 65th anniversary. When I look at their wedding pictures I can't help but think, yikes they are too young to be getting married!
And yet, here they are a lifetime later and still married. When in the traditional marriage ceremony a couple commits to "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 ... no one knows what they are really getting into. And isn't that part of wonder and mystery of love and commitment?
For my mother old age came early. As she tells it she walked on to a tennis court a healthy 40 year old and walked off with aching knees that led to a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Mom is now 86, living a life she would never have imagined nor would anyone have wanted for her. Even so, she is one of the fortunate among us.
Over the long stretch of her illness, she had a devoted and loving partner. There was both time and money to pursue the best medicine, physical therapy, emotional and mental support that is necessary to survive 46 years with a devastating chronic illness. Up until recently in spite of many challenges, Mom was able to be cared for at home. I recognize that not everyone in her situation has these advantages and these advantages are in no small measure why she has lived as long and as well as she has.
Wishing my parents a Happy Anniversary and dedicating this message to the care that my father has provided and the remarkable longevity of their commitment.