I probably did a bad thing the other day. A couple I have always admired and liked a lot marked their 26th wedding anniversary and announced their fairly modest celebration plans on Facebook. I was at their wedding in their living room and it was an incredibly happy moment for my now deceased wife Jean and I. I wrote this on their Facebook page: “I remember that living room and the ceremony like it was yesterday. It was an incredibly happy moment in my life and Jean’s.We were proud as parents would be. I’ve also gotten great joy out of watching your love grow. “The cute couple” have both been incredible friends to me too. Congratulations and all my best wishes. And, not to be a downer, but please hold on tight as if it is the last day. Unfortunately I know it can be.”
You could probably argue I could have and should have dropped that last line. After I wrote it I stared at it for some time before I posted it. I finally posted it because those words have become my mantra.
I find myself almost compelled to say those words to every couple I encounter. Marriage and partnership is easy to take for granted. Couples get into patterns. Patterns is the nice word, ruts is the pejorative.
The days we found out Jean had cancer, and then that it was stage 3, and then that the treatment plan had much lower potential for cure than we originally thought, are days that blur together into one horrible memory that our life would never be the same.
I pray those days never happen to others but we all know they will. And just as horrible an experience are the partners who leave for the day and never return.
Always kiss your partner goodbye. Share, hug and laugh. Maximize every single day with your lover because nothing is guaranteed.
If being an evangelist for hanging on tight to the one you love is boorish or overbearing I guess I will have to plead guilty to that rap. But my guilty plea carries no regret and I promise to keep re-offending.