The weather looked about as promising on that day as it does today: dark clouds in a largely overcast sky. The outdoor wedding and reception planned for months were hastily moved to indoor locations as the rain poured down and a tornado nearby wiped out the electricity in relatives' homes where out-of-town guests were staying.
Should we have viewed the weather as an ominous portent of what "for better, for worse" might mean?
In those 37 years we . . . finished (not really, as it turned out) our graduate educations and embarked upon our (first) careers . . . thought we would be unable to have children and then produced three in three years . . . made our way through the usual joys and trials of family life, with some of each far more extreme than it seems that most people experience . . . managed some things very well and others very poorly . . . endured the death of our beloved son Josh . . . came to understand that human control over life is basically not something that exists . . . got me through seminary and through the ensuing disappointments of this year of waiting . . . did everything we could to support one another and our surviving children in making our way down the path that constitutes our response to the question, "How shall we then live?" (The answer, as it turns out, is "Who knows?")
And after all of that, we find that this morning we are still standing and able to say "Happy Anniversary" to one another. If you had seen us on our 35th, you would have known that we were unlikely to make it to the next day. But . . . two more years have passed, and here we are.
On our wedding day, all of the family and guests threw themselves into creating a celebratory atmosphere. As if a downpour that dashed the carefully-laid plans of a bride was a matter of some great significance. Even then, I knew such to be hardly the case. Perhaps the weather that day was indeed a portent, telling us that to count on sunshine is a risky business and that the next decades would demand resilience, fortitude, a dash of courage, and a will to survive.
We have, apparently, met those demands, at least enough, in a stumbling and erratic kind of way. And so ~ Happy Anniversary to Us!