In the past few months several of my friends, all mature adults, have gotten married. It has been amazing to watch their joy, knowing the pathways they traveled to be able to trust this love will work, this love will abide, this love will be real and lasting. Mature adults know well the stresses of life and especially treasure their partner to make the pathway sweeter.
We grew up with the fairy tale, mostly of some guy rescuing some girl, and “they lived happily ever after.” No explanation. No mess. No kids. No information. Meanwhile, we grew up in our childhood homes, some with loving parents but many of us got mixed messages at best. I know I was told the man is the boss and yet, I saw my dad all so often bend to the wishes of my mom. There is no magic one size fits all method.
Watching my friends decide to marry and then celebrate that with a meaningful ceremony is a blessing. Yesterday about 50 of us gathered in the late afternoon sun along the waterfront of Gig Harbor, Washington. The ceremony, which lasted about an hour, included spiritual and religious references from many sources. It included children of the betrothed, themselves young adults. It included a number of friends who came forward to light another candle to share some symbolic enlightenment of experience.
I think, if the adults have done their work, a mature marriage can work much better than one entered in the hot naivety of youth. Building the foundation: becoming friends that can talk about anything without either party’s ego being bruised helps the new partnership face the normal ebbs and flows of life with all its financial issues, health issues, aging parent issues and more that will arise.
While I was immersed in the joy of the celebration yesterday, I was also feeling my heart pulled far to the east to my friend Carol in Croatia. Her beloved Ivo is dying. After meeting as young adults and living their lives on separate continents, the spark between then revived a few years ago and Carol made a decision to leave California and retire in Croatia. They have been living together, in their 70s, not allowed to marry. There is nothing the heart was missing in the love between them. And now, Ivo is about to move on. My heart is with Carol and Ivo…they found the joy of life together and they will reunite again in time.
Life is short. Spent with the wrong person it seems to be everlasting hell. Spent with the right person, time flies and joy abounds.