25th Wedding Anniversary, and What it Means to Cherish

A twenty-fifth wedding anniversary is no small thing.

And since it will only come around once in my life, and since a few of you asked to see the pictures we took on the evening of the event, I thought I’d share a few of those with you, as well as a few thoughts on being married to the same guy for 25 years.
Twenty-five years, and wow. I still adore this man. My Silver Fox.

These pictures don’t represent the norm of my life, obviously. I do not dust my house in black polka dot chiffon. Oh, who am I kidding? I do not dust my house. I could have ended that sentence five words earlier.

Ok, if you’re coming over for dinner, I DO dust my house. But otherwise, that’s why God gave us minions. I mean, children. That’s why God gave us the blessing of children. I dusted for my Mama. I put in my time. In the spirit of the Olympics, it was time to pass that dusty torch along to the next generation.

(In these next few pictures you’ll see the outfit that I procured on my ill-fated shopping trip in Atlanta. My friend Kristi was with me when Sylvia the Sales Clerk Who Totally Knows What She’s Doing, helped me pick them out.)

What you can’t see are the zippers up the back of my red suede shoes.
You can do anything, but stay offa my red suede shoes.
A facebook friend asked if my hubby was cranking up the air-conditioning,
in hopes that a strong current of air might blast out of that vent.

I love this necklace.

I was talking with some girlfriends online the other day about the question, “Do you cherish your husband? Does he feel cherished?” Because, of course, it’s crucial to nearly every woman that I know to feel cherished by her husband. “But what about us as wives?”, one gal asked. “Do we cherish our men? Are we doing a good job at letting our men know that we cherish them, too?”

The discussion that followed included a lot of women being pretty hard on themselves, concerned that they were NOT cherishing their husbands as they ought. And I don’t know: I’m not there, and I don’t know their marriages, nor how they treat their husbands. Maybe it was a good wake-up call for them to have that discussion. I hope so!

Dinner at the Capitol Grill at the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville. SUPERB dinner. Truly.
Soft lighting, quiet, elegant ambiance, incredibly delicious food.
And print on the menus that was big enough to read in the soft lighting.
Which becomes important when you’ve reached a certain age.

 Even though I already was pretty sure I knew the answer he would give, I asked my husband, “Do you feel cherished?”. And when he replied that he did, I joked, “Till the next time I’m mean to you?” and he answered, “Or the next time I’m mean to you. But that’s all part of it.”

It’s not ALL wine and roses for us, like the little celebration we engaged in on this very special night was. (Just like I don’t ALWAYS dress like this or look like this. Getting this gussied up takes a little work.) We are two hard headed people who struggle daily against our own selfish urges and desires. When we’re doing it right, we’re both being good team members, considering the welfare of the team, first. Treating the other the way we’d want to be treated. But we don’t always get it right.

Although I would have said that each of us have always felt extremely blessed to be one half of a happy marriage, there’s nothing like one partner facing a medical crisis to wake you up to the fact that you can take nothing for granted in this life. So is our marriage better off post-heart attack? Yes, I’d say so. He’s taking better care of his body, because he knows if he wants to continue to live, he has no choice. As I drift off to sleep in the dark each night, I take a moment to reach over and touch that warm body next to me, and give thanks. I might have been alone, with a cold spot next to me in that bed, for over a year now.

So what does it mean to cherish your mate? How do I do that? To me, it starts with giving thanks. I give thanks privately, to God, from my heart. And as I pray, I remind myself of all the many, many wonderful ways that this man of mine is a blessing to me. And then, I give thanks out loud, to my man as well. I tell him the things I see in him that I respect and admire. I try to encourage him when things are tough. It’s my goal let him know that as long as God gives me strength and life, that I am in his corner, and I have his back. I don’t take what we have for granted. I try to take time to look into those beautiful eyes of his that first drew me to him, let go of anything unforgiven, and love him without reservation. To me, that’s what it means to cherish.

Grilled peaches, pound cake, ice cream, a peach melba sauce, and lovely caramel decorations on the plate made a sweet ending to our special evening. Rose petals sprinkled on the table didn’t hurt the effect one bit.

I realize a post celebrating a happy marriage might be a knife in the heart to people who are not in that place right now, but who long to be cherished themselves. Please know that my heart feels grateful for what I have at this moment, but not prideful. It’s not a blessing I deserve, it’s just a circumstance that I find myself in, at present. I am thankful to be loved, because I recognize my unworthiness.

 And what I wish for each one of us is the knowledge that even if right now, there is not a person on earth who has your back in that way, your Father in heaven loves you with a perfect love. He cherishes you, and loves you with a love that is everlasting, a love that will NOT let go.

 No. Matter. What.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Jeremiah 31:3

 


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