What do sixty years mean?
Threescore. Memories of 1955. A whole bunch of tree rings.
And in the case of my parents, a milestone on a long and winding road of marriage.
As my sisters and our spouses (or, as The Mate calls them, “spice”) and children gathered last week in San Antonio to celebrate our parents’ 60th anniversary, I mostly relaxed and gave myself over to family re-connection, food, and trying to stay cool. (Did I mention we were in San Antonio? In June? I used to be a Southerner, but after 25 years I’ve lost what little heat tolerance I ever had. Went for a run and thought I might die.)
But now that I’m home (aaaahhhh, nice dry 60s air!) I find myself reflecting on the significance of a 60-year marriage.
My own Mate and I have been hitched for 28, and that seems pretty impressive to us. More than twice that? That seems…at this point, frankly, unfathomable.
I hope we get to fathom it. I hope we get to be grandparents together, if our children so choose. I hope we get to sit around sharing memories of a wedding day so far back the mental pictures themselves have turned sepia.
I’m not worried about the hard work of marriage. After 28 years, who wouldn’t know about that? But 32 more…that’s a long time for two people to stay healthy.
So I’ll leave my reflections with a prayer of sorts from the second verse one of my songs, “Rocks of Ages.” Mom & Dad, this is dedicated to you…and to me and my Mate…and to any of you out there hoping to celebrate the same anniversary someday:
Albums in piles, stretching for miles,
Children and homes and careers.
Stacking our cares and blessings in layers,
Years upon years upon years.
Yeah, life’s mighty stratified, but I’m nothing but satisfied;
Let’s go ahead and grow old.
Call us sedimentary, we must’ve been meant to be
‘Cause the age that we’re heading for is looking like gold.
Rocks of ages, counting the stages
We entered into with these golden bands.
After all of our changes, the only thing strange is
How the earth still moves when you take my hand.
Got a partnership of your own to celebrate? Please do!