Sunday, June 9, 2013

34 years...and the dance goes on!

I , Kathy, take you Rennie, to be my wedded husband. 
To have and to hold, from this day forward, 
for better, for worse, 
for richer, for poorer, 
in sickness or in health,
 to love and to cherish 
'till death do us part. 
And hereto I pledge you my faithfulness.

Thirty four years ago right about now, Ren and I were saying 'I DO". We thought we understood what the words meant and the depth of commitment we were making to one another.

But how can you really know...!

You imagine life will get better- of course it will because you are finally together forever.  But being together means that you can't 'go home' if he says something irritating or she does something stupid like you did when you were dating.  Even though you say the vows, you imagine the words that denote positive, hopeful, lifegiving images for the rest of your life.

You can't embrace the 'worse' things- you really don't want to even imagine them!  Losing a job, and the income it brings, or getting sick or even losing a child...those aren't things you dream of when you are young and in love.

But marriage is a dance!  A flow of smooth, studied movements that turn into jerky, uncertain steps. It's being close to being miles apart to being brought close again.  It's happy, joy filled, melodies inspiring spins and twirls around the room.  It's a somber, grief filled dirge of sobbing and isolation and silence.

But it is a dance!  One that you can't learn all the steps for.  You have to go with flow; to respond to the movement of one step, then another. To one partner it feels like they are taking big steps, the other must take small in order to stay near each other.  One leads, learning to give signals to tell which way to go.  The other must sense how to follow, when to stay in step, when to step out on their own for a brief time- each to solo in their own dance.  Some of the time it is very fun; sometimes, not so much- but all the time it is worth doing.
worth working to know the moves of the other
worth the energy it takes to stay in step
worth the effort you both make to stay in the dance together.

With each stage of life- our love for each other has changed as well.
There's the dance of new love- eye meeting, then glancing away in shy giddyness.
There's the dance of fingertips meeting, touching ever so gently
or fingers sliding into fingers and forming a clasp that becomes a familiar place
or arms wrapping around each other
sometimes with kids wiggling their way in between or wrapping themselves around.
sometimes as we watch them drive away to their new home-
to the new family they are beginning.
with their dance partner!

And here we are again, learning yet another dance, learning new steps as different people,
older, wiser, but sometimes not acting like it; more confident, yet afraid; at peace, but aching inside and out for all kinds of reasons.

Yet we can do it!  We can do it -together!
Here's to 34 more years honey!
Can I have this dance!