Monday, May 30

One more day

by Liz Flaherty 


Pretend if you will that today is May 29 instead of the 30th. Because the 29th is the 45th anniversary of the day Duane--also known as the boyfriend, the roommate, and "honey"--and I got married.

We were 23 and 21. He was just home from Vietnam and I was a single mom long before it was fashionable. I used to say my son did the actual proposing, because the second time he met Duane, Chris spouted "dadadadad" and took off walking. He was 10 months old and quite capable of choosing his own father, thank you very much.

Two more children followed. We were like a lot of other couples from our generation. We raised our kids and worked the same jobs for 30-plus years whether we liked them or not. We bought our second house in 1977 and we're still living in it. I'm pretty sure my melamine early-marriage dishes are still in a box in the attic.

We worked different shifts for years so that the kids usually had an available parent. It was lonely then, and hard, being married but alone. The kids played sports so that we spent years on the bleachers. They went to college, married the people who became three more kids of our hearts, and offered up the Magnificent Seven, our grandkids.

We've had days and nights and years of laughter. He's the biggest supporter of my writing career and I'd rather hear him sing and play the guitar than anyone else. We can finish each other's sentences, feel each other's pain, and say "I love you" just by having our eyes meet.

But I still hate that he loves TV and is a terrible listener. He still hates that I'm a marginal housekeeper and totally incapable of mowing grass in either a straight line or an elegant curved one. We've had snarling days of not liking each other, silent days of not liking each other, days when the only reason we were married at all was because our kids thought of us as a unit. We've been bored sometimes, we've been mad, we've gotten imaginary divorces on our long separate drives home from work, but when we got to the house we were so glad to see each other we thought we might as well stay married at least one more day.

Oh, yes, one more day. Thank you, Lord, for one more days. It's been 45 years of one more days. It is those days and the moments within them that are the true definition of Happily Ever After. I am grateful, I am blessed, I am lucky. I get to spend my life with my hero and he gets to spend his with me.

I'm aware I wrote about the Happily Ever After last week and that I said Happy Anniversary to Duane then. You have my apology for repeating myself, but not really. I will never tire of reading and writing Happily Ever Afters. Or of living one.

Have a great week.


11 comments:

  1. God bless you both...and may you have many one more days to bless each other.

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  2. I love that this started out with pretending, which is appropriate for a novelist. And I appreciate that you haven't sugar coated the ups and downs of marriage life. Thanks for the inspiration and here's to many more years of "One more day." Cathy Shouse, fellow Hoosier

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  3. Beautiful! I love the true representation of a long, mostly happy marriage. I always tell people our secret was not being afford to live separately. While this is a fact--lol--it isn't why we stayed married. It's because every day is better with him than without him.

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  4. Congrats! I love reading about real life Happily Ever After stories. :)

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  5. I can relate, Liz! I've been married to my maddening but lovable husband for 43 years. I'm a marginal housekeeper, at best, but we put up with our shortcomings and laugh together.

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  6. Yup, once again, you've nailed long-married life and I love that you express all the things going on in my life so well. You and Duane are an inspiration to any newly married couple or a couple considering marriage. It's not always skittles and beer, but more often than not, it's definitely worth fighting for. Hugs!

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  7. Congratulations and may you have many more.

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  8. happy anniversary, you two, and many, many more!

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  9. Thanks for having the guts to admit to the rough (sometimes very rough) spots and still soldiering on. In between the days of wanting to hold a pillow over my husband's face till he stops kicking, we're still very much in love. Forty-nine years and counting.

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  10. Thanks to you all for the wonderful comments. I've been gone for several days and am just checking in. I so appreciate you coming, and we ALL appreciate the continued support of the Wranglers.

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