Long marriages are rooted in strong faith


“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like volcanoes and then sinks again. And when it gets less, you have to make a decision. You need to figure out if your roots are so entwined that it’s unthinkable that you’ll ever break up. Because this is what love is.”

—Louis de Bernieres

Fifty years ago today was a beautiful and sunny day with only a slight autumn chill in the air. I remember because it was a big day in my sister’s life. I watched in admiration as the day unfolded for my big sister. I was a very young teenager and my sister was getting married. I felt the magic of the day down to my bones as I was excited for her and her groom.

To start

After they started their early wedding days in an apartment, the day they moved into their forever home also stays with me. It is a beautiful, old, solid white brick house in the community of our family home, located on a farm that has existed in our memories forever. Long ago, my father’s aunt had raised her own family there, just west of the farm where my father was born and raised.

I loved visiting my sister and brother in law there. I like to think I helped them move in, but I probably didn’t do much but take it all in, so excited for their future and the baby that’s about to come. I remember riding their pony, then brushing and grooming them while my sister was going through a tough pregnancy, while also working at nursing school.

My brother-in-law was with the National Guard while they started and built their farm. I was a freshman in high school when I became an aunt to a little girl, and I wore my new title with great pride and happiness.

Lasting love

Over the years, four babies completed their family. I helped every chance I got as my sister and her husband were busy in their maternity stall, and an extra pair of hands was always welcome. My love for my two nieces and two cousins ​​grew deep and strong.

“A lasting marriage is built by two people who believe in and live up to the pledge they have made,” I once read on a poster. It’s much more than that. It is rooted in a strong belief, it is surviving the daily grind of life that brings headaches, frustration, painful challenges and somehow find joy in the little things your love has built up.


It will soon be a year since my sister ended up in the hospital, unable to breathe enough. Her husband feared the worst when he delivered her to the hospital door and denied her entry. She was battling COVID-19 and her symptoms kept getting worse.

“I fought hard to live,” she later told me. Just breathing was exhausting. She was blessed with nurses who helped her through the long days and nights in the hospital.

When she finally got home, she was on oxygen for a long time. She’s still fighting to get back to where she was before COVID leveled her, and she’s fighting with optimism and gratitude. And her groom of 50 years has been a wonderful, loving supporter of his bride every step of the way.

Their four children and husbands, and 10 grandchildren, have added a little reason to push it all through. This is what golden love looks like. I am blessed to have stood in its shadow for a long time, taking it all in, enjoying all it has built up along the way.


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