My wife Mary Beth and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary in October of this year. Am I the only one who thinks time has somehow put the pedal to the floor? That time has literally slammed into sixth gear and is cruising at over 200 miles an hour?
My oldest son will turn 40 in less than two years. How in the world did that happen? Our “baby” is 32 years old. I feel like Rip Van Winkle, waking up to a world I simply do not understand.
I recently added sleep apnea to my cavalcade of maladies. Welcome to Curtland, Apnea! Make yourself at home — you can sit over there by arthritis. Help yourself to some bonbons. Where are those “Golden Years” that they advertise on TV, along with assorted pills and hair colors and special diets?
The truth is, I would never wish to do it all over again. But I can’t help thinking about the “shouldas” in my life. I shoulda paid more attention. I shoulda listened instead of waiting for my turn to talk. I shoulda studied harder. I shoulda been a better son, a better brother, a better friend. A better husband. A better dad.
Still, 40 years of marriage is definitely not a tiptoe through the tulips. It is the most interesting ride of my life, and I would wager the most interesting ride of most lives who persevere. Thank you, God! Two vastly different people (and I’m not even thinking about gender) pour themselves into becoming one. They reveal to one another their wants, fears, needs and hurts. Their successes and failures. Their faith.
Add the gift of children, and accept the gift of humility — among other things.
Good stewards, be thankful for sacramental marriage: God’s plan for the betterment of men and the honor of women. God made us, and God said, “It is good.”
Curt Hanson is executive director of the Catholic Foundation for the Diocese of St. Cloud and director of the diocesan Office of Stewardship and Development.