CINDY THE SACRISTAN...
Cindy celebrates a wedding anniversary...
Cindy and her husband are celebrating their 32nd wedding anniversary this week. They both find it quite amusing that 32 years can have passed by so quickly. Yet when they look back over all the things that happened during those years, it seems to have been a very long time.
They both agree that marriage is a calculated lottery ticket. Will love alone be that winning ticket, sufficient to weather the good and not so good times that surely are a part of every marriage? Will their union be successful or down the track of life will they become another statistic — those who did not make it? If it seems their ticket was not a winner, will they have sufficient resources within to make their union into a winner? Marriage is risky business. It is not completed by the wedding vows. A marriage is planted on that special day and needs continual watering during all of its life in order to produce good fruit.
Anniversaries are a time of reflection, for looking back, for giving thanks to God for the blessings, for the strength and wisdom to survive and pull through the difficult times.
Cindy and her husband recall the homesickness and loneliness of their first few years when they had to move interstate soon after their wedding. They knew no one in the new town and had to begin from scratch. They joined the local church community and in time made new friends.
Babies began arriving. Without the close support of parents and friends to share the joy and gloat over the wee ones, it was a painful time in some respects for Cindy. Her dear Dad died when she was four months pregnant with her first child and he did not see any of her children. It was a most distressing time as her Dad had just celebrated his 60th birthday and it was the week he retired. Her mother was distraught and needed Cindy to be close, yet Cindy now lived in another capital city and needed to be with her husband also. There were many times over the years when Cindy struggled with divided loyalties and a thousand kilometers of separation.
Cindy and her husband have by now buried all 4 of their parents plus a sibling. They have survived illnesses, hospitals, operations, family therapy and all the school years. When their children were ready for High School, they chose to send them to a Government School and withstood some of the negative comments made to them by some members of the Catholic community.
During the financially stressful years, Cindy worked night duty. She worked in various hospitals and aged facilities while still managing to be at home during the day for the children. The lack of sleep during those years has been a great help as they seem to Cindy now just a blur of busy days and busy nights. Tiredness helps us forget times it may possibly be more helpful to not remember!
Cindy reflects on what has been the 'special' ingredient that has kept her marriage alive and loving for 32 years. She and her husband are both peacemakers. They are listeners, especially of each other. They respect each other's need for space and the freedom to pursue their own interests. They never fight. This may sound strange. At times they have needed to seriously talk through some issues, but always they have respected the opinion of the other. Compromises are not that difficult when love is the main ingredient of the discussion.
Perhaps the most astounding aspect of Cindy's 32 years successful marriage has been the spiritual side of the journey. Two Catholics with similar backgrounds, same level of education, even intellectual capacity — came together all those years ago. They grew up only five suburbs apart. Neither have any interest in sport. Both love cryptic crossword puzzles, Scrabble and the same television programs. They are both 'introverts' on the Myers Briggs scale so love being at home together, just the two of them. Truly they are peas from the same pod.
It is interesting to note that when they married in 1974, they were both also celebrating their 30th birthdays. Their union was a delight for their parents and many friends. More importantly, they had both matured as adults and were established in their chosen fields of employment. Considering they had only known each other for six months before they married, statistics might have predicted their marriage may have been based on lust rather than love and wither after a few years. They however always believed that 'to death us do part' was a given and not an option. There was never any thought that they might not last the distance.
During the years of the midlife crises — they spiritually matured and grew to a new understanding of God, Jesus and the Catholic Church. Together they shed their old baggage from a Catholic education during the 1950's. Together they now see where God has been active in their family during all the years since they tied the knot.
Time has shown that Love and Mutual Respect are possibly the main ingredients for a successful marriage. That God always be present in all situations was a given in Cindy's marriage. They are having a fun journey growing old together and learning a touch of wisdom along the way.
Their children remain a great blessing to them both. In five months time another chapter in the book of life will open for them as their first grandchild arrives.
The blessings just keep on coming. God is not finished with any of us yet!
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