Monday, April 23, 2012

Enduring Love

Like something right out of The Notebook, a headline broke last week declaring a 76 year marriage had ended with the couple dying just hours apart from one another. He apparently held her hand and wept as she breathed her last breath and then died himself just 16 hours later. I am not sure what touched hearts more...the length of this marriage, the obvious sustained love & dedication, or the idea of long-time lovers crossing over into death together.

I am a rookie compared to these two with a decade of experience behind me at this point. I am far enough along to know fairy tales that end with "happily ever after" are fiction for a reason. But its those not-so-happy moments that force you to grow, that challenge your resolve, and shape a love that is even stronger than the one that cause the pairing to begin with. And it helps of course when you marry your best friend.

In reading about this couple, what caught my attention most was a quote from their son, "The key things I remember about my parents were not the things they taught us, but the example they set for us. We just watched and marveled."

This is comforting on many levels as I think of the example Rachael and I try to set for the kids. At the end of the day we may not say or teach them everything that we should. But I truly believe they will always have our marriage to look to as an example. To make it 76 years would mean me living to be 103, so I can't make that guarantee. But I can promise it will be a long love affair with God-centered dedication to one another!