Since Labor Day weekend, I have officiated at twenty-one wedding ceremonies. Whew! Where has the time gone? Now, as I head into a quieter November, I’ve got a little bit of time to look back and ruminate.
As I performed many weddings this year, I carried with me some sadness over the break ups of two different couples I know, both of whom had been together over twenty-five years. I wanted to tell these newlyweds of 2013 a cautionary tale or two about not taking each other for granted; or that no one’s relationship is immune to wear and tear, and to the steep toll life’s difficulties can exact from a marriage. Of course, I did not. It is not my place. And it is not the time.
At the very same time, I have had the great privilege to witness the love and fidelity of my father-in-law Dave, as he journeyed with my mother-in-law Jean, through her final days with Alzheimer’s Disease. Theirs was a 64-year marriage, not perfect (does such a thing exist?), but they faced the world together, side-by-side, one day at a time, until her death on October 5.
Every couple I meet believes that they will make their marriage last a lifetime. And so we celebrate the belief, the hope, the firm intention, and the vows to do just that, knowing that we will sometimes fall short of each other’s expectations, but celebrating, nonetheless. And, hopefully, the celebration will bring us closer to becoming the people we long to be for ourselves and for one another. As I continue in this Celebrant work, my hope for each couple is that theirs may be a partnership of integrity, love, and joy!