Thinking back to high school literature class, I’m sure most of us remember the soothsayer’s warning to Julius Caesar,
“Beware the Ides of March,”
And as interesting (or boring) as you may have found Shakespeare, that creepy prophecy has imbued the 15th of March with a sense of foreboding.
Well, it may have been a bad day for Caesar, but Friday, March 15th 1963 is a great day for Rosemary and me because that’s the day we were married.
And I’ve have to admit, we’ve had a great life and continue on with a never-ending story about love and friendship.
We are the proud parents of two children who have grown up and become prosperous adults who contribute to society.
So how have we gotten to this point in one piece?
The answer to that question is both simple and complex at the same time.
I remember back in ‘04 I was at the dojo training one Saturday morning, and while taking a break, one of the young students who was about twelve asked me,
“Doc how long have you been married?”
I told him with smile, “40 years.”
After hearing the answer, he paused, and I could see him trying to grasp what forty years entailed.
When he understood that meant almost 4 times as long as he’s been alive, he asked one more question…
Well, here we are seven years later, and the answer remains the same, and in the two simplest words I can put it…
Freedom and understanding.
We didn’t buy each other that day in 1967, we don’t own one another, we’re free to go and do as we please, and we understand when one of us has to spread their wings.
We’re together because we want to be together.
We made our own decisions before we met and we still make our own decisions, though many times we will ask for the other’s opinion.
But that doesn’t mean it has to be accepted and followed like some kind of order.
Sometimes we do something that the other doesn’t agree with, and that’s where the understanding comes in.
We’re individuals, and just because we’re married, that doesn’t mean we’re always going to see eye to eye.
We wear what we want, we drive what we want and eat the way we want.
When we got married we didn’t get a title of ownership for one another, Rosemary is my wedded wife not a possession.
I remember we were checking out at a local retail store and Rosemary opened her wallet to pay for the merchandise, on the inside of her wallet is a small police badge that says “Wife”.
When the cashier saw the badge, she told us that her husband was a Police Officer and then asked if Rosemary was a police officer as well, and pointing to me she replied, “No, but he is.”
When I told the young lady she could get a badge just like that at a local cop shop she said her husband wouldn’t allow her to go in to one of those places.
I hear that phrase more and more everyday,
“My husband won’t let me…” or “My wife doesn’t allow me…”
That’s a term you won’t hear Rosemary or me use because it’s a matter of respect, we have a marriage license not titles of ownership.
We are not each other’s parent and we don’t need permission to do anything.
Another important thing is we don’t make disparaging remarks to one another.
It makes absolutely no sense to berate the person you love and chose as a life partner; after all, you chose your partner, and what does that say about you if you don’t show respect for your spouse.
We support one another even though we don’t always agree with our partner’s decision.
If we disagree it is voiced behind closed doors not in public… we’re firm believers of not airing dirty laundry.
There has been a lot of laughter and a lot of tears in our forty-seven years together, there has been sickness and injury and we have always been there for one another.
We are best friends and spend a lot time together and there is absolutely no one I would rather be with than Rosemary. We have many fond memories from many wonderful trips; we’ve seen Cats in New York, Mama Mia in London and Le Miserable in Toronto.
We’ve walked around Stonehenge, seen the Grand Canyon and yet we still enjoy walking our dogs in the evening.
Our marriage is about love, life, trust and respect.
And that’s why we’re still together and continue to be lovers and best friends.
I feel like there’s a lot I haven’t told you, but that would only take forty-seven years, so lets leave it with saying we are still very much in love and enjoy our life together.
Enjoy your spouse, partner or companion for who they are not who you can make them.
And remember… never say “I’m too old” or “I can’t”, because you’re not and you can.