Today, I raise a toast to my in-laws. 51 years together and counting. Last year there was lots of hoopla, and they deserved it all, but this year it's just them. I know they enjoyed last year, but I think of them, going out to a nice dinner tonight, and know how lucky they are to be sharing each other's company. To be 51 years with the one you love and to still share the kind of love that they do.
They were young when they married, he was barely out of his teens, and she was still in them. They had three kids out of highschool by the time they were my age, and have seen so much change in the world since they've been married, not just historically (though it's significant), but just in the way we live. There's more of everything now, more stuff, more convenience, but less time, it seems. But they've kept up - they have more energy than most 30 year olds, and more than I will ever dream of having. They are thoroughly modern and hip and are two of the most intriguing people I know.
I could paint them as a perfect couple, but I think that would be a disservice to them. Do you know all those couples that people write about - the one's who finish one another's sentences? Those sweet older folk who pat each other on the knee and hold hands all the time? Yeah, well, those couples are pikers compared to my in-laws. These guys bicker, they get into it with each other, and they have their own opinions, often in opposition of each other, and they have their own interests. But here's the trick - they are still, to this day, truly sweet on each other. You can't be intimate with someone without disagreeing with them. That's the test and the honor of their commitment. They are two strong individuals who make each other stronger, not because they believe the same things or feel the same way, but because they don't. They're interested in the world, and interesting to each other, and they know how to make each other laugh. Plus, they have a sparkle in their eyes when they're around each other, and I feel lucky to witness it.
So Happy Anniversary, Chuck and Dolores. Enjoy this anniversary, make each other smile, and know that we love you.