The Anniversary

I’ve just gotten home after a busy day. It started early in the morning and hasn’t ended until my drive home late this evening after our women’s Bible study tonight. I drove up the driveway and remembered I had my son’s garbage in the back of my car and needed to leave it at the end of the drive. Sitting for just a moment thinking over the whirlwind of the last ten days, it’s not even odd we have someone’s garbage in my car, strange as that sounds. My son and his wife birthed our first little grandson this week and they missed their own garbage day while they were at the hospital. Just seven days before, our other son got married. In the last month, we’ve had a baby shower, a bridal shower, a church event, a wedding, a baby, and scores of other activities. I’ve spent days in the hospital with my mom, and a quick stint to the ER for a kidney stone of my own. My husband has volunteered boarding up homes in Detroit the last few days and quite honestly, it’s been so busy, we’ve hardly had a moment for a text or a call to each other.

As I sat in my car, I quickly scrolled through my notifications and saw a sweet “Happy Anniversary” from one of my friends to her husband. I took note that my other friend’s anniversary is the same day. And then the realization hit! It’s MY anniversary! I drove back up into the parking spot at the top of the drive and gathered my things to go in the house. The kids were ready for bed and with lots of hugs all the way around, I walked into the bedroom to find my exhausted husband asleep in bed in the dark snoring the day’s hard work away.

The last few weeks have included days upon days of reminiscing. From our own wedding memories as our son kissed his new bride, to the births of each of our babies just before the birth of this new grand baby. Moments have been chugging by in the replays of my mind. We laid in bed one night this week and recapped every birth. I realized that in the chaos of our busy, busy big family, we did babies pretty good. If there was one thing we knew something about, it was birthing and feeding little babies and growing them up. It was confirmed when our second oldest said this week, “Mom, I just want to say thank you. You and dad really did train us how to handle life and life details.” I replied to him, “all we ever want is for you to love Jesus and be productive people.” He said, “I know.” It matters that they know. They ALL know exactly what matters.

But I’ll tell you what doesn’t matter. A lot of things don’t matter. It doesn’t matter what state the house is in, good or bad, clean or not. It didn’t matter what the décor was, new or old! It didn’t matter what kind of cars we drove….we only needed to be able to get off our icy hill. And so the old Suburban with 250,000 miles on it still creaks and groans when we need her, and the driveway looks like a parking lot with so many drivers. It doesn’t matter if our backyard is nicely manicured or not…the kids get to run and play. They’ve climbed a lot of trees and drove a lot of bikes and dirt bikes, chased snakes and toads, raised animals and learned to hunt. It didn’t matter whether some were ahead in school, and some behind…so far every one who graduated has gone on to college or is about to. Actually, it didn’t matter to me if they went to college….I just want them to be responsible in daily life and know how to function in this crazy world we live in!

And on this day, it didn’t matter that we didn’t go out to dinner. It didn’t matter that we never said Happy Anniversary. It didn’t matter that we hardly talked about our day, let alone our marriage! It didn’t matter that the dishes weren’t done when I walked in the door that late. Or that I had to fold and clear laundry he had moved over before I could climb on my side of the bed.

The 31st year of marriage will likely end just the way the 32nd will start. A tired content husband and wife, surviving in this world, growing up some kids and grand kids, exhausted at the end of the day, just the way we were meant to be. I’ll gladly go to bed having never celebrated, but loving Jesus, being productive, and settling for a moment together amid the chaos now and again. It’ll end with the sound of my husband snoring away, as I curl up next to him and lay my head on his chest, and a blessed reassurance that he is right here beside me even though neither of us heard the other say “Happy Anniversary.” Life is truly good, any day….all day. Happy Anniversary to us


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