7 12 2014

“If it snows, I’m not getting married!” Those were the words my bride-to-be Terri told me emphatically some 32 years ago this week! We were married December 4, 1982 in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, a place known for getting lots of pre-Christmas white stuff! Now those of you who really know me, also know how much I love my weather cold, and icy and frosty! I am never a fan of our Cape May County rain events while the rest of the northeast becomes a marshmallow world in the winter! Yet, that day in December all those years ago proved to go my wife’s way and hence I benefited from it also because we were joined together in holy matrimony in the middle of an almost 80 degree Saturday! It was well worth all the out of control perspiration my rented tux absorbed back then! Today the tux may be history, but the girl still makes my palms sweat and my heart skip a beat! And that is a very good thing.

Marriage is not easy by any means. I guess that is why it makes me sad that too many invest so little into the relationship that they once vowed would be their most important earthly union. We all know that we humans tend to take the best gifts in life for granted. Our expectations may never get lower but the efforts that we invest into each other surely does! When was the last time you can honestly say that you went way out of your way just to bring pure joy to your hubby or wife? If it has been years and not days, never mind hours- this is probably why so many couples strike out rather than branch out as the years go by! If your spouse is genuinely going to be the stuff that dreams are made of, then you best be giving it your absolute whole hearted commitment every day that you have each other here while you are wide awake living on this earth!

Terri still looks amazing to me-as young and beautiful as ever- she hasn’t aged a day since that December Saturday when she cried her eyes out as she said her vows knowing she would be stuck with me forever! As a matter of fact, I was with Terri a little while back in the very church that we got married in- the United Methodist Church of Avon Pennsylvania. While milling around at a social there, I heard somebody ask my wife why I didn’t make the trip out with her! Much to this individual’s surprise I just happened to be standing right there! I guess I didn’t look like the 22 year old Rudy any more. I feel like when we got married, I looked like Terri’s husband and now I have come to admit that I look more like her father! But unlike the Captain and Tennille- Love and the Lord has kept us together long after my hair gave out- my heart for my beloved still beats strong.

In a Marriage Class that the two of us have been teaching at The Lighthouse this past semester, I asked the question, “What if we treated our spouse with the intensity that we would do everything we did as if it would be the very last time we got to do it? What if we erred on the side of going overboard with our attention rather than just hoping a crumb falls to each other every now and then? Why did we go from moving heaven and earth to get to be together to hardly even noticing one another as we share everything but our souls together? Living vicariously through the children is not the promise we made at the altar! Providing for our partner to such the degree that our profession would get the best of us before our loved one would see us was never in the original contract! Love doesn’t grow in a garden that is not cared for! Watch out for the weeds and the weasels that want to steal the fruit that was never meant for them!

It may be time for us men to kiss the bride again like we did that first time when we couldn’t wait for our lips to connect and the fireworks to begin! Keep the pecks on the cheek for casual acquaintances and pucker up big time for the one who deserves the power of our passion! I want to sing, “Terri’s Song” like I did when I first was privileged enough to learn the words of the sweet symphony that my wife is! Sure, she doesn’t like the Beatles which I will never be able to comprehend- but that doesn’t mean that my heart still doesn’t go boom when she crosses the room and holds her hand in mine! True love ways are here to stay as long as she knows that she is my soul and my heart’s inspiration! So Theresa, I can’t smile without you and believe it or not, I am still walking on air because I don’t want Jessie’s girl- I love you! Happy Anniversary Wife of my Life! I couldn’t be what I am without you and I thank God that out of all the guys you could have chosen- you picked me!

“Come, my beloved, let us go out into the fields and lodge in the villages; 12 let us go out early to the vineyards and see whether the vines have budded, whether the grape blossoms have opened and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love. 13 The mandrakes give forth fragrance, and beside our doors are all choice fruits, new as well as old, which I have laid up for you, O my beloved.” Song Of Songs 7:11-13



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