For Better or For Worse - 25 Years Later

25 years ago, Cheryl never thought her trip down the aisle would bring us to where she is today.

September 19, 1987 is somewhat of a blur. 

I remember waking up to a very foggy, drizzly and dank morning, but nothing could stop this bride from running to the mailbox at 5 a.m. to hang paper mache wedding bells. My wedding day had finally arrived and there was no way a bit of damp weather was going to rain on my white, frilly parade.

When you’re 23 years young, starry-eyed and in love with someone you’re crazy about (notice I didn’t say he was my best friend — no disrespect and hate me if you want, but this was not the role I wanted him to play), and are about to embark on one of the most important and love-filled days of your life, it seems utterly impossible to think that 25 years would ever happen this quickly. 

No way could we possibly be 48 years old, have survived six years of infertility, become the parents of eight kids and two dogs, cheered on three speech-delayed children, lived in three houses, owned five mini vans, put four kids through braces, lived through 10 different faux finishing makeovers, 20 assorted diets, at least a dozen vacations to Disney World (yes, go ahead and groan) and several “unmentionables” that will stay behind closed doors.  (I mean, one of our kids might be reading this after all!)

But, here we are — September 19, 2012 — 25 years later and we’re still hitched. 

When people ask us how we’ve survived, I mean, stayed “happily” married for this long, though I’d love to say it’s because we just adore one another unconditionally, that’s just not the case.  And I’m not going down that path about how it takes hard work and a steadfast commitment — nope, the reality is that both of us know darn well that no one else wants someone who has eight kids! (Okay, not really — well, then again!)

Seriously, 25 years ago I married the king of optimism.  No matter how dreadful any situation has been that we’ve faced — three miscarriages, invasive infertility, developmentally-delayed kids, financial woes, one too many bad meatloaf recipes, well — the list goes on and on… Brian has been able to find the silver lining — always!  And even better, his optimism eventually rubbed off on me. 

We’ve had our stretches of not seeing eye to eye (that’s being kind) and have had many a moment where we don’t even like one another, but when all is said and done, we’re partners and always have one another’s back.

Like the time we thought a burglar was breaking into our home just three weeks after we were married.  The new parents of a spoiled cocker spaniel puppy, we awoke to a loud crash coming from our basement. Seconds later our alarm went off, and my brave husband grabbed the hand carved piñata bat we got on our honeymoon in Acapulco and told me to stay put with Chloe (our precious canine) while he bravely went to investigate.  

Stay put when there could be a mass murderer in our Pier I Import bungalow?  I did what any new bride would do — grabbed the puppy, the blanket off the bed and escaped out the bedroom window!  Thankfully our bedroom was on the first floor and back then, I was a size 4 and slipped out with ease. 

By the time Brian got back to the bedroom and saw the wind whipping through the open sash, he just assumed I had gone for help!  Of course that was the reason — good God, I never would’ve left him to fend for himself if we didn’t have a puppy to protect! 

(Luckily, the burglar turned out to be several boxes that were stacked too high and met their demise on our basement floor! So eventually he did forgive me for abandoning ship.)

And not that I’ve got the memory of an elephant, but there have been a few last-minute golf outings with the college buddies that have fallen on, oh, my birthday, but the belated birthday gifts that I received after the fact — new living room sets, a candy apple Suburban, a shiny new diamond tennis bracelet certainly cleared the air quite nicely.

If anyone were to tell either of us while we were floating in our private pool, laden with floating hibiscus overlooking Acapulco Bay on our honeymoon at the charming and romantic Las Brisas resort, that this would be our life 25 years later, I never would’ve believed any of it because it’s nothing like we ever expected it would be.

In 25 years we’ve experienced unbelievable joy, heartache, tender moments, painful times, sweet romance, unexpected embarrassment (tales for another column), pure love, special memories, spiteful exchanges, unconditional love, and plenty of ups and downs that made us realize one thing—there’s no such thing as a perfect marriage, but after a quarter of a century together, we’ve still got each other so we must be doing something right.    

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Ginny September 20, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Great article, Cheryl!! LOL!!! Congratulations!
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