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Sometimes the numbers just add up. And occasionally the numbers tell an interesting story. Like the number 100. Let me explain.
For those who follow this blog, you may remember my post of February 13, 2011 titled “Happy Valentine’s Day: The First 35 Years.” That post was a celebration of 35 years of marriage with my bride, Laurie. At that time, I wrote
For us, there is no secret; no formula. We have had our difficulties like all others.
Heck, truth be told, we didn’t know what we were getting into. We didn’t have a
checklist of what we wanted or were looking for. But, if you held me down to provide
a secret; I’d say it is simply giving each other space…But mostly the reason for our
success and longevity is that I “married up”….!
This weekend, my wife and I got together with four college friends–two married couples–to celebrate 100 years of marriage. You see, in addition to our 35 years together, Jeanne and Scott have 33 years, and Brian and Eileen total 32 years. Add them up–yep–100 years of marriage.
We decided to do our own renewal of vows. So we all met on Anna Maria Island (southwest coast of Florida) for a weekend of memories, laughs, good food, old college photos (did I already mention “laughs”?), and a hearty dose of appreciation for what we have in each other as spouses and as friends. Kind of like our 2011 version of the Big Chill.
On our last evening, we gathered on a rooftop deck overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and shared words, music, and sentiments about what we meant to one another. I want to share a few of the lines Laurie and I repeated; words from “The Art of A Good Marriage” by Wilferd A. Peterson. Simple yet elegant, these words spoke to our hearts.
Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens.
A good marriage must be created…
It is establishing a relationship, in which the independence is equal, dependence is mutual and the obligation is reciprocal…
It is not only marrying the right partner, it is being the right partner.
The words reminded me of the “work” a relationship takes. Sometimes we are fortunate to cross paths and share our lives with very special people. That is something to be thankful for (and I AM)–but there are no guarantees. The relationships take daily work. Peterson said it well when he wrote that a marriage does not just happen. There is a reminder for us in that beyond marriage, as well. Whether it is a corporate team, a college class project, or a neighborhood friendship it is about being the right person.
I thank God for being blessed with the right people…and pray I do better each day to be the right person myself.
© 2011. Steve Piscitelli and Steve Piscitelli’s Blog.