I was reading the newspaper, enjoying a cup of coffee in a café on Capitol Hill when the conversation between two 30something women caught my attention. One woman was saying to the other that though she couldn’t be happier with her husband and she loves being married, she doubted she would remain married to him her entire life. Well, needless to say, I couldn’t help but keep listening. She went on to say that marriage was invented at a time when people did not live past 50 or so, and so one could imagine being married for twenty or thirty years but today, when people live to be ninety, you can’t really expect people to stay married to the same person for the rest of their lives.
Well, tell that to the more than 550 couples in the Archdiocese who will come together on Sunday at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception to celebrate being married twenty-five years or more. 272 of these couples have been married fifty or more years. One couple, who can’t be at Mass on Sunday, but who will be honored at their parish has been married 75 years!
It’s probably safe to say that none of these marriages are perfect but all of the couples and have experienced the beauty of married love that has stood the test of time. As Helen Sewell, married 59 years shared “I know he’d do anything for me.”
If you are wondering what makes a marriage work, these are the people to ask. I think that they would have a multitude of reasons for what has made their love so enduring. If I had to guess, I would bet learning how to forgive, the importance of family life, praying together, laughter and not taking the small stuff too seriously would all be on the list.
While not a fan of country music, when flipping through channels one night, the refrain of the song that was playing was “saying I do, means saying “I will…” I’m not sure who sings that song but the couples we will honor on Sunday are the best proof we have that marriage is made to last a lifetime.