Friday, July 16, 2010

Mature Love

Last night Keira and I attended the wedding rehearsal for these two crazy kids.  She's the daughter of The Hubs' cousin so that makes us cousins or second cousins, or second cousins once removed.  A friend explained all of that over the weekend and I've already forgotten. What is extraordinary about these two, is that they have been together consistently for the last 8 years.  Yeah, 8 years.  Doing that math, that means they first got together when she was 16.  Let that sink in for a second.  She was a sophomore in high school.  I believe he was a senior.  And even after he graduated, they stuck together. 

Now, I'm embarrassed to mention here, that they have been together longer than my first marriage lasted (separated after 5 years, divorced at 6).  And they have been together longer than The Hubs and I have been married (6 years this September).  That's a long time for such a young couple to stick it out.  And they have already been faced with adversity.  Lost jobs, living together, sharing finances, and her medical bills from multiple brain surgeries to stem the flow of what seems like a constant stream of seizures.  At the tender ages of 24 and 27, these two have been through more than most engaged couples.  And they've come through it together.

Last night, before we started the rehearsal, their pastor (who showed up in a black tee, camo cargo shorts and flip flops) started talking a little about how their love is a "Mature Love".  That they had been together for 8 years and weathered more storms than most.  That they were well past the "Puppy Love" stage of their relationship.  And that really hit me.  These two young kids have learned the tricky art of compromise, of loving through good times and bad, the art of patience and understanding in the face of anger and adversity.  They have quite literally grown up together into adulthood and survived with their hearts in tact, and their minds firmly set on each other.  That is so rare in this day and age.

When my Old People got married, my Mom was 19 and my Dad was 6 years or so older.  I'm not sure what went through my Grandparent's minds when their 19 year old daughter announced their engagement, but I know my Old People weren't all that thrilled when I did the same when I turned 19.  But despite neither having finished college, and both being so incredibly young, my parents beat the odds.  Not without adversity along the way, but even for my generation, it's rare for the original set of parents to still be in tact.  Most of my friends came from "broken homes" and I never realized what that really meant until I joined a "blended family" myself because my parents stuck it out through good and bad times.

I often wonder what it was like for my Old People to watch as their three children, one after another, married and divorced then remarried.  All three of us failed at our first marriages.  Did we jump into marriage too quickly?  Or did we just pick the wrong people? Did we start out with the right person and simply grow in different directions?  I can only speak for myself, and I can say in all honesty, it was a bit of all three.

I wonder if my parents were disappointed in our failing marriages, or if they were just happy to see us get out of such bad situations.  Did they wonder if maybe they had done something wrong? Taught us wrong?  Taken on our failures as their own, as some parents (okay me) are prone to do?   Let me say Mom and Dad if you're reading, the only mistake you made was making it look so easy - loving each other, compromising and sticking it out.  It's a lot harder in real life but you two always made it look so easy.  Even when things were bad, I never doubted your commitment to each other.  You are the epidomy of "Mature Love".

Saturday we will go and participate in the marriage of those two kids.  They're young yes, but in so many ways, they're better prepared for their lives together as a married couple than so many.  We'll pray over their union, we'll celebrate and dance, we'll smile and laugh and be part of this incredible day for them.  And I don't think I'll worry about them, or wonder if they'll make it.  As their pasture said, they've already experienced "Mature Love".

Seriously..  Thoughts?

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