A couple of years ago, I wrote about my interest in anniversary themes. Each year after 30 has a unique theme. Last year was our Beryl Anniversary. I mentioned that to my husband, Pete, and he joked, “As in barrel of a gun? or do you have me over a barrel?”
This year’s anniversary theme also brought a fair amount of quipping. The 39th wedding anniversary is the Lace Anniversary. My oldest son, who has been married 3 years, nudged his dad’s arm knowingly. Apparently, lace to him brings lacy nightgowns to mind. My husband and I had actually talked about getting some new lace tablecloths. Isn’t it funny how your priorities change with time?
With the big 4-0 coming next year (Ruby Anniversary) and both of us staring down an even bigger number on our birthday cakes, it seemed wise to take a moment to take stock. In our 39 years of marriage we have started a business, bought and paid for two houses, had six children (five of whom have made it to adulthood and one just starting her teen years) had one grandchild, been the parents of the groom, made many new friends and kept in touch with many old friends, gotten the title of Aunt and Uncle for over 30 children and became godparents to 5 of them. We worked hard and had many successes and failures. Life has been challenging, but good.
The theme of lace after 39 years reminded me of how important our union is to us, but also to others. Making lace requires the use of strong thread anchored with pins. The thread is twisted and manipulated to make recurring arrangements over and over again until a beautiful pattern emerges. I see that in our marriage. Our parents anchored us in our Catholic faith. In return, we set an example for our children as we tried to live a faith-filled life.
Living the faith has been our pattern. Going to mass and living the liturgical life has kept our threads from tangling. Our family and our associations in our parish kept those patterns in our lives strong. If I can keep that analogy going I would say that our pattern is now part of the larger patters in our church, our communities.
Lace is beautiful and strong, but it is still delicate. It is not indestructible. We both need to nurture our marriage to keep it strong. If we cut any one of those threads by hurting our marriage, the lace would be flawed. It could even fall apart. That would hurt us but also our children. It would also maybe weaken the resolve of others. It would have ripple effects on anyone that knows us.
As I look at it now, our beautiful patterns didn’t happen overnight. They took a lot of time and effort to develop and nurture. But just as the lacemaker can look at her creation with satisfaction, I look back with awe at what we have done over the past 39 years. Now onward, with God’s blessing, to 40!
Copyright 2018 Elena LaVictoire