47 years ago this month, my wife and i were married. we were both 21 and had just graduated from college. we were so excited to be beginning our "adult" lives together. we came from very different backgrounds, though we were born within 30 miles of each other and grew up only 45 miles apart. early in our marriage, our beautiful daughter was born, but we waited ten years after that for our wonderful son to join our family. one of the joys of our marriage is that both of our children turned out to be kind, loving people that are a pleasure to be with.
over the years, my wife and i have had our differences. we sometimes allowed insignificant disagreements to make us angry at one another. at times, we became so involved with our jobs that we defined ourselves by our work. over the years, we've seen that we're better together than we are separately, and we've learned that a little patience and kindness go a long way towards making our marriage a happy one. the individual quirks that so irritated each of us at one time have become endearing idiosyncrasies that we not only tolerate but embrace.
last night we watched the movie "still alice" about a brilliant and lovely woman afflicted with a rare and aggressive form of early-onset alzheimer's disease. alice's family came together to support her and each other, and we were reminded of what it means to truly love your partner, to live out "for better, for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, 'til death do you part." in an age where it's so easy to give up on one another, we are so glad we didn't. how terrific it is to take pleasure in being together, to know that we support one another, to have this wonderful life together.
may every person find the joy of loving another for a lifetime. may we see beyond the petty annoyances of living with another person to the genuine person who is our beloved. may our love for our partner be molded by patience, kindness, and compassion. shalom.