My husband and I celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary this year. It is such an awesome thing. Not only to be married for 35 years, but to be so happily married for 35 years.
It is such a gift. A gift that we have offered up to God in so many little ways. A gift that has come back to us a thousandfold.
We renewed our vows at Mass, in front of our church family. Rich in his deacon’s alb, witnessing to his two vocations – the diaconate and marriage. And I, standing beside him, holding his hand, also witnessing to my vocation of marriage, and, as a deacon’s wife, sharing my husband with the Church.
For better, for worse. For richer or poorer. In sickness and in health. We have been there, done that. And we know much more today about what those vows mean than we did when we got married.
When we met, Rich was a divorced and lapsed Catholic, with four children. I was a lapsed Protestant, never married. We believed in God. We talked about God. We loved God, or so we said.
But we didn’t know then what loving God really meant. We didn’t know how much we needed God and church and community. We didn’t know how much of a difference it would make when we went back to church. How much of a difference it would make to us personally, to our marriage and to our family.
Looking back, we can see how much we have changed. How much our lives have changed. How much our priorities have changed.
I can tell you about my husband’s annulment and my conversion to the Catholic church. I can tell you about our struggles through the sexual abuse scandal in the church (made worse by the fact that I am an incest survivor), which hit its peak when my husband was in formation to become a deacon.
I can tell you about our financial struggles and health issues including the frightening times when I thought I might lose my husband.
I can tell you about our children and grandchildren and the ups and downs of being part of a stepfamily and how I would do it all over again.
I can tell you about all of these things, but it all comes down to love. And God. And faith.
We would do it all over again.
Copyright 2014, Colleen Spiro