17,432 Minus 2

Today, if my math is correct, Richard and I will have been married 17,432 days minus 2.  Can you imagine?  You can if you’ve been married at least 48 years.  It blew my mind when  I first realized I’d been a wife one day longer than I’d been single. Twenty-eight years later, I can barely remember ever being single!

When Richard and I first wed, I would get irked whenever my mother would say, “You think you love him now?  It’s nothing compared to how much you will love him when you’ve been married as long as your dad and I.”  How could I love my “Farful”–an endearing term from our courtship days–any more than I did at that moment?  Impossible, I thought.

Only God knows the reason Richard and I have been granted seven years longer than my folks.  (My dad died a few weeks short of their 41st. anniversary.)

Looking back from the perspective of almost 50 years of living with and loving another human being “for better; for worse,” I now realize my mother wasn’t trivializing the love of my life.  She was simply stating a fact from her own experience.

If I can love my partner when he’s snoring up a tornado at three a.m.; if he can love me when I awaken in a dastardly foul mood due to hormonal ebbs and flows;  if we can continue to love one another when  the most innocent of exchanges between us become a declaration of war; my mother had to be right.

People ask me why one couple’s love is strong enough to make it to their 50th. anniversary and another’s not?  While I wish I did, I certainly don’t measure up to the instructions on loving found in 1 Corinthians 13.  Beyond the cliches of “You have to work at a good marriage everyday,” and “keeping God in the equation,” I don’t know.  I can’t make generalizations about other people’s marriages.  I can’t even make them about my own!

But I can say with certainty, I do love you, Richard P. Rizzo, more on day number 17,432 minus 2, than I ever could have imagined on September 1, 1963;  and less than I will love you on day number 17.432 minus 1.





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