My wife and I just celebrated our 49th wedding anniversary. I had planned a quiet night out at a nice restaurant with my bride to mark the momentous occasion.
Of course, we nixed those plans since we have self-quarantined during the coronavirus health emergency. You can probably relate.
Instead, we spent the day like all our other social distancing, self-quarantined days. We read a little, played games, watched some television, I wrote, Neva quilted.
Unprecedented, uncharted territory each describe the current coronavirus pandemic. We all have had to make adjustments, sacrifices, lifestyle changes, hoping against hope they will be temporary.
We hope, too, that as many people as possible will stay healthy and alive. But the numbers of casualties from this horrible contagion keep multiplying daily. The curve has yet to be flattened in too many locales.
Neva and I are grateful to have lived these 49 years together. Over those nearly five decades, we each had to make adjustments and changes to ensure the partnership worked. That’s the way marriage is meant to be.
We each made those sacrifices for the benefit of the other. In marriage, you live not for yourself, but first for your spouse. However, our modifications paled in comparison to what others are having to do in the current coronavirus situation.
During our homebound times, I thought a lot about our marriage as our anniversary approached. We have much for which to be grateful. We have two marvelous children who are both successful adults in every way.
We love our energetic and talented trio of grandchildren. They keep us on our toes and fill us with joy and pride in living out their young lives. Of course, baseball, dramas, concerts, soccer, high-fives, and hugs have all been put on hold for now. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before those happenings can be renewed.
We had to get creative with our communications. Text messages, FaceTime chats, and occasional visits with them and their parents on our back porch, always keeping a safe distance, have to suffice for now.
Neva and I have traveled to many places as a couple. We have strolled on beaches, walked many trails, and climbed literal and figurative mountains together. None of them were as steep and challenging to traverse as this current global crisis.
We have many, many folks to thank for helping us along this marital march. Family, friends, churches, communities. We wouldn’t be where we are without them.
I thought it a bit ironic then that we would simply celebrate number 49 all alone. Our daughter changed that scenario by picking up carryout dinner at one of our favorite restaurants and dining with us on our back porch. Of course, we kept our distance.
Neva and I have been through a lot since that beautiful day in March 1971. But, like you, we have never endured anything like this pandemic.
In our quietude, we silently said a gracious thank you for all those strangers, friends, and family, living and dead, who have blessed and enriched our lives with joy, love, and understanding.
Neva and I are forever thankful for all that the good Lord has bestowed on us. Our gratitude is beyond measure, but continually overflowing. We’re hoping our 50th anniversary will be even more rewarding.
In these challenging, unusual times, we all need to work in harmony for the common good. Our prayers go out to each and everyone, whatever and wherever your situation may be.
Social distancing may keep us physically apart, but we are all in this together, and together, we will persevere. Blessings, and thanks to each of you.
© Bruce Stambaugh 2020
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