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Forty One years ago today …
… on December 19, 1970, …
… in Saint Henry’s Church in Bayonne at about 11:30 in the morning, our lives changed.
“I, John, take thee Evlynn, to my wedded Wife, 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, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law; and thereto I plight thee my troth.”
(I stuck the “troth” part in. My maternal Grandmother was an English Protestant. Father Chuamark deigned not to notice.)
(Explanation of “plight” and “troth”: “Plight” here used means to pledge. “Troth” means a promise of truthfulness, and is derived from the same word as “truth”. “Plight thee my troth” – The groom pledges his truthfulness, faithfulness and loyalty to his promise. “Give thee my troth” -The bride likewise gives her word. Also note “betrothed” is “be” – “trothed” from the word “troth”, meaning promised or contracted to marry.)
(Grandma explained that to me when was very young and I asked why my Mom and Dad weren’t together. I knew then that this ‘marriage stuff was serious business.)
“I, Evlynn, take thee John to my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey, till death us do part, according to God’s holy law.”
(I’m surprised that whole Congregation didn’t have a collective gasp! Our Girl said: “obey”. I teased her about that later.)
It was a great party.
But, she’d finally given in and married me. And, my life was forever hers.
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Humorous story: At the back of the church, Ev’s father asked her what was wrong with me. She didn’t know but said that I was the color of my shirt. When her hand was passed to me, she asked. I said “scared <synonym for excrement> less”. She said: “Don’t worry. I’ll take care of us.” And she did that.
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You Matter To Your Spouse
“And for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be united firmly (joined inseparably) to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together let not man put asunder (separate).” Matthew 19:5-6, Amplified
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Just as you chose your spouse, you were also chosen. Out of the millions of other people in the world, two souls were linked together in holy matrimony because you couldn’t bear to be without each other for the rest of your lives. Your vulnerability in the marriage bed, your giving of yourself to passion and pleasure, and your desire matter to your beloved, too. Such things can only and should only be shared in the intimate bonds of marriage, and for that you have chosen one another. You share not only this mystery, but also your joys and sorrows, hearts and dreams, and vulnerabilities and transparencies. He or she is there for you when you need a shoulder to cry on and to laugh with you over nothing at all. You share a history, a love story, and a life that you travel together. Know that your companion is yours forever and that you matter deeply, profoundly, and intricately to your spouse.
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Somehow this doesn’t help as the one who was left behind.
“Double Star” is a science fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, my favorite author, and there’s a line in there that goes something like “death is the only acceptable excuse for missing an appointment”.
So today, when Frau Reinke misses our forty first anniversary, she has an “acceptable excuse”.
But it doesn’t help much!
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“He that outlives a wife whom he has long loved, sees himself disjoined from the only mind that has the same hopes, and fears, and interest; from the only companion with whom he has shared much good and evil; and with whom he could set his mind at liberty, to retrace the past or anticipate the future. The continuity of being is lacerated; the settled course of sentiment and action is stopped; and life stands suspended and motionless.” — Samuel Johnson (1709-84), English author
Happy Anniversary, my love.
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