And Both Shall Row: A Wedding Anniversary Mix


The kids are away at summer camp. It’s Friday, which matters, now that school is starting up again.

And it’s the 18th of August, which matters most. Because today is our anniversary, and as much as we are going grey, ours is a love that is worth the work.

My wife has named this anniversary as the one where “our marriage is finally old enough to drink”. She also claims we met the first day of college, though I remember another night, when we played that game of Pictionary, and stayed up until the sun rose again for the very first time.

Either way: it’s been a long time. And I would do it again, in a heartbeat.

It’s good to have something to share, and someone to share it with. It’s good to have a partner in crime, happy to be a Mary Magdalene to your Jesus even when she’s a stranger at your party, willing to sit in a hayfield sewing and then resewing a hat for your crazy garden gnome costume.

It’s good to have this, and a thousand moments, really: harmonizing in empty churches; the duck in the bathtub; Disney World in a drizzle; the Christmas Eve where we drove out into the cold and ended up across state lines, eating gingerbread and drinking wine in the last open bar for a hundred miles, just to put a ring on her finger, even though we had picked it out together.

And I am grateful for all of it, and the chance to be grateful every morning when I wake, and find her by my side once again.

For this, and the longing to be together and stay together through these last few years of sickness and health, and the early years of motion and uncertainty. This, and the hard work of marriage-as-verb, the constant reflection and sharing and listening that we have learned to do better, at least, as time goes on, and life lays opportunity at our feet. This, and the polished gold seams, the thousand places where we have been tested and tried together, and healed more beautiful than before, like one of those Japanese bowls.

This, and the home we hold, committed to light, laughter, and the spirit of adventure, or so it says on the ketubah, and oh, on most days, it’s still the perfect trifecta, the top of the roller coaster, the cornerstone of a love deeper than the dark.

Because this I remember: 21 years ago today we made ham sandwiches with the rabbi. Your sister fainted holding the chupah. Your grandmother set fire to the reception table. My friends got high in the parking lot.

And then, when the last guest had wandered into the sunset, we went home together, you and I, to the house we had lived in before, above the swan pond. And the next morning, we drove off into the bright new dawning day, comfortable and joyful in silence and in conversation, ready for every next adventure.

May there be a thousand more.

Category: Mixtapes 7 comments »

7 Responses to “And Both Shall Row: A Wedding Anniversary Mix”

  1. Patty Manders

    Feel I must amend–my mother put out the fire–she didn’t start it! Some of those candles weren’t firmly seated in their holders:)

  2. Michael Kevin McCleary

    “happy to be a Mary Magdalene to your Jesus”???

    me thinks that you may not understand that which you speak

  3. Chris

    Happy anniversary! 🙂

  4. Stephen Mitchell

    Happy anniversary. Celebrated my 31st this year myself.

  5. Deadman Deadman

    A strong relationship is built on a foundation of myriad moments that glow like little gems. Congratulations on your anniversary as magnificently you flow into the mystic….

  6. DW

    Gotta go with MK McC on this one as I scratch my head . . . so you’re Jesus in this scenario?? And therefore your wife is your follower? I . . . I’m speechless on this one.

  7. boyhowdy

    This isn’t (just) a metaphor, folks – it’s the actual Halloween costumes we wore. Certainly not intended to be representative of our relationship now. And since the party was at my college (a transfer), and my future wife was unknown (she was living with her parents 10 miles down the road back then), she was indeed following me around a bit – I knew everyone, and she did not.

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