Forty-one years ago today, my husband and I were married on a bitter cold day in our hometown in Upstate NY, at his family's parish church (which was the one connected to the Catholic high school where we met as freshmen in 1972). We had begun dating at 15, in the summer of 1973, and were married seven years later. We got engaged in December of 1979 while seniors in college, and chose to get married two days after Christmas the following year. My husband was going to be starting flight school in the Navy shortly after graduation, and that was pretty much the only time he knew he would be able to get enough days off in a row to get married.
Some people told me that it was a bit selfish to put our families through a wedding during the busy holiday season, but it was either that or wait another whole year or more until he earned his wings. At that point, we felt like we'd waited long enough to finally start our life together! And I have to say, a Christmas wedding is so incredibly lovely. The church is so beautifully decorated already that you don't have to spend a penny on flowers. Our church was blooming with a profusion of poinsettias and bedecked with garlands of greenery. Wreaths were hung on every pillar, and right behind us when we had our photos taken on the altar there was a glorious Nativity set. I can't imagine a more perfect setting, personally, for getting married.
Or a more perfect partner with whom to go through life. He is my rock. He is my hero. And I know that God chose him just for me.
Recently, I found a collage in my Google photos. It had been made up with pictures of my guy and me without any input on my part. The top middle photo is from one of my sisters-in-law's weddings in 1993; the rest are more recent, from the past five years or so. There are a couple taken by our beloved lake in NY, a couple taken on trips to Rome, one in the stands at a Notre Dame football game, and a few from holiday celebrations. This collage managed to include some true highlights of our life together. (I'm surprised, however, that Google only chose one with us holding a baby grandchild!) I might have chosen other pictures if I'd made this collage myself, but I thought it was nice and would make a good anniversary tribute.
The Baltimore Catechism describes the purposes of marriage thus:
(1) To enable the husband and wife to aid each other in securing the salvation of their souls;
(2) To propagate or keep up the existence of the human race by bringing children into the world to serve God;
(3) To prevent sins against the holy virtue of purity by faithfully obeying the laws of the marriage state
What a gift a good marriage is. As I said, I can't think of a better marriage partner (or a better father for my sons) than the guy I married. If I do make it to Heaven, he will have most definitely helped me to get there. What an example he has been for me! I can only hope that by the time my life here is over, I will have learned to live out my Faith with the kind of purpose and passion that he does.
Forty-one years in, and our family has grown by leaps and bounds. Just a portion of us were together on Christmas Day, and look at how many dear souls are in this picture!
That day, we had only 13 of our 17 grandchildren with us (Peanut, one of the triplets, escaped before the photo was taken, so if you count them up you'll only find 12!).
But the two soon-to-be-born grandchildren were also there. Here are my sweet girls who are expecting in 2022, one in February and the other in April.