Here’s to the wrinkled hands firmly holding each other in front of empty pews.
Here’s to the recreating of wedding pictures taken so many years ago, same couple, same pastor. Boutineer on her wrist, laughter in his eyes.
Here’s to the eagerness to share the joys and sorrows, the willingness to be honest over coffee and celebration cake.
Here’s to another fifty years
The mug in my hand grows cold, the coffee cools, the conversation goes deeper.
In a laughing moment I asked “What makes a happy fifty years Sue?”
“A good premarital counselor, who told me to let the little things go.”
She didn’t even stop to think,
“A mother telling you it won’t be all rose gardens and butterflies but it will be lovely in the end.”
She was watching him, he was joshing a younger man, completely unaware of the doting woman by his side.
“In the end Hon,” She grinned as she reached across the table for my hand, “In the end we learned that we never questioned if we would stick it through, giving up has never been an option. Because in the end this isn’t even our story…”
The conversation then turned to the black and whites on the table, the wedding details, the girls get together she had with her bridesmaids just the night before. The delightful stories that come with staying up til three in a nursing home catching up with the woman you valued enough to ask them to wear the same mint colored dresses and stand next to you in front of full wooden pews in the little Lutheran church so many years ago.
I caught him later, away from her, we joshed over German potato’s and pie. “What do you believe to be the secret to a long marriage?” “We’re so different,” he began, “Complete opposites, I don’t even know…” He listed the ways they were different, all the while sneaking looks at her as if she might overhear and chip in her two cents. “But we do have one thing in common, the most important thing, we know and trust the same God.”
Here’s to the legacy left by the living. The one that they’re still creating. Here’s to the forgotten coffee’s because of deeper conversations and the photographs on the table.
Here’s to the man who married them, the pastor that led them to the altar as two and let them go as one. Never knowing they would carry his words into the next fifty years. The man who stood, again, in front of the same cross in 2017 to remind them of what legacy is.
Here’s to the legacy we leave as we move onward and upward, the little bits of daily living that make more of an impact than the greatest aspiration we hope to accomplish.
Here’s to a lifetime of living. All the laughing moments and crying moments and waiting in between.
And here’s to Christ loving us through it all.