When I tell people that I am newly forty and have been married for nineteen years (together for more than half my life)
I always seem to get a surprised reaction.
Sometimes I like to chalk it up to my youthful beauty (insert belly laugh here)
But I believe the reaction comes from a place of genuine shock and surprise.
In a time where it is easier to throw out a broken thing rather than fix it -we are still standing.
My American grandfather always reminds us of this fact, I can almost hear him tell me
Back in my day if something didn’t work right we didn’t shop for something new. We worked on and fixed what we already had, whether it was our lawn tractors or our relationships.
In perhaps not those exact words.
For the record, sometimes it just doesn’t work. There are so many reasons for a relationship to fail. Sometimes the tractor just needs to be junked.
That’s ok too.
My husband and I were young – in retrospect now that I have a preteen daughter and nieces and nephews who are now the age I was when I got married- maybe too young to get hitched.
I’ll admit – when I said ‘I do’, I didn’t fathom the depths of what for life really meant.
I have a memory of driving on our honeymoon and looking at each other in awe
“What did we just do?”
Then laughing about the fact that when we turned 40 we’d already be married for 20 years.
And now here we are.
Please don’t get me wrong. It has not always been smooth sailing.
There have been plenty of peaks and valleys on this road of ours.
Lots of shit piles to plow through along the way.
Lots of broken tractor parts in the fields of greener pastures.
When we stumbled upon them (or sometimes fell right into them)
We became expert shit shovelers.
We picked up the pieces of tractor and slowly learned how put it back together again.
We leaned into each other instead of leaning away.
The end result after our twenty years is not a shiny new top-of-the-line tractor.
It’s a dirty, manure smeared, jolopy of a tractor, melded together with dented pieces, elbow grease and the labor of love.
And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Every marriage is a hard road. It’s easy to fall in love- the work comes in staying in love.
“What did we just do?” I asked
“The rest of our lives?” He answered in his question.
(Insert belly laughs here again- because that was the only answer we had)
Our twenty year love is a one with a depth that maybe no one will ever understand.
But it doesn’t matter – because it’s ours.
And it runs better now then when we first drove away in it.
Today – Tell your someone you love them.
Not because the card companies tell you to buy flowers and give gifts this Feb 14. But because every day you wake up is a gift.
Even if your tractor looks a little run down and rusted. Or your road seems very long. Or your shit shovel is broken – again.
This road is yours to live and understand and love despite what comes your way.
And that alone deserves a prideful belly laugh. Or at the very least a clear path through the manure pile.
Happy hearts and flowers day.
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