Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Significant dates

I have a little decorative calendar. Each day I change the two wooden number blocks. Today the first thought that popped into my mind was how much I hated history classes - memorizing dates made me crazy. Once I got older and travelled to many of the places I'd studied, I'd wished I'd paid closer attention. To this day, I have trouble recalling dates with historical signifigance.

Today's date was a fateful one for me. Forty-two years ago, at the age of eighteen, I married my first husband who had just turned nineteen. The small church was where his parents had been married by the same old minister. It was a freezing wet, blustery, late afternoon. The sleet started as I stepped out of the car. My tears started as I walked down the aisle. The pastor offered me his handkerchief. When you are eighteen and your heart is battling with your head, you don't have enough wisdom or courage to do the right thing. During premarital counseling, the pastor stated that marriage can only survive if both people bring their own ropes, join them together and tie up their lives in a square knot that will not slip when times get rough. He demonstrated a slip knot and a square knot. The analogy sounded musical and made my brain spark with excitement because I love words. The message itself was lost on two kids trying to escape dysfunctional households. We succeeded, and we went on to create our own.

We were bound together for a quarter century with two frayed ropes, yet we never felt connected. The knot slipped, and when we came unbound, our lives began. We are both happily remarried and have two wonderful children and four delightful grandchildren as a result of our union. I regard this day not with sadness, anger, regret or melancholy; it is part of MY histoy.

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