I come from a long line of folks who know how to endure. No matter what came their way, they stood the course. Whether it was a time of war or a time of peace. Whether it was a time of depression or a time of prosperity. A time of joy or a time of sadness.
They said vows that they meant, vows of commitment. Vows that promised to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, from this day forward until death do us part.
Honoring those vows and staying committed to the one you have pledged them to is the definition of endurance, which happens to be the weekly photo challenge theme. My grandparents and my husband’s grandparents knew how to endure. So did both sets of our parents.
Today would have been my parents’ 73rd wedding anniversary. They married in their early 20’s right on the brink of World War II. They had their times of hardship and times of plenty. They experienced times of sickness and health. They knew what it meant to work together to keep a marriage strong for better and for worse.
And in the 57th year of their marriage, they faced the unto death do us part challenge when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. And through it all, they provided a worthy example of what it means to love and to cherish, to honor and consider someone else more important than yourself.
My parents endured. They didn’t throw their relationship out when it wasn’t perfect. They honored their commitment and each other. And they taught me well. Next week, my husband and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary. Year 37. We have a ways to go before we reach the milestones our parents reached or our grandparents, some of whom were married for over 60 years before death claimed one of them.
But we will stay the course. We will endure until death do us part. We will continue to have and to hold for better or for worse. I can only hope and pray that our children embrace the same course of endurance in their marriages. Because love, real love, is enduring.
“Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope; it can outlast anything. Love still stands when all else has fallen.” ~ Unknown