Is there a right way to celebrate your wedding anniversary? I think most people would say there is. Some fancy a romantic dinner at a favorite restaurant. Others would say a quiet movie without the kids. There would even be those who would take in a sporting event, do couples pottery, or see a show.
What is the right way to celebrate an anniversary? I’ll tell you.
For Better or Worse
We spent our anniversary more worse than better. Both kids are sick. One insisted on going to the theater to perform her duties as assistant stage director. I bundled myself up, despite the mid-50 degree temperatures, took her for tea and breakfast, and got her to the theater. My poor husband woke up this morning still sitting at his desk chair. His crazy wife stripped the bed yesterday with the intention of letting it air out. Eventually, it was to be covered with fresh sheets. Except I fell asleep. And the bed wasn’t made. And Jim had no place to sleep, because the other sick kid had taken over the sofa. We had no sooner both gotten home and found comfortable positions, when our drama queen kid called in tears to be picked up. She was too sick to go on. No rest for the weary. But the right way to celebrate an anniversary is immersed in the life we created in our 26 years together. And so we did.
For Richer or Poorer
Financially, it was a good day. That’s the right way to celebrate an anniversary. We know the bills are all paid, there’s food in the fridge, and the car that always requires a major repair as soon as a big check comes in has just had all four tires replaced and brake work done. But we also have multiple bank accounts, and at one point, my husband had to ask if I needed more than $175 before the weekend, because the one account we don’t have daily access to is where our most recent deposits went. So while I know we’re good, I also know I have to watch my pennies on this, my anniversary.
In Sickness and In Health
Yes, well, here is where we really prove we know how to celebrate an anniversary. Jim has spent MONTHS preparing to be part of a mock trial competition team. Because of his vision problems, things that other competitors probably were able to do in a reasonable period of time have taken Jim triple the time. He has sacrificed weekends with his family, dinners out with friends, events we wanted to or should have attended. Then last weekend, I got sick. It wasn’t just “sick” – it’s sick. Fevers, chills, aches, unable to breathe from the chest pain of the cough, gastrointestinal distress – I have had it all this week. And because he tended to every need this week, Jim caught it.
And today, when he was supposed to leave with his team to compete, he was too sick to go. He has fever, chills, aches, and is unable to catch his breath from the cough.
He hasn’t blamed me once, although when the delirium from the high fever begins to dissipate, he may, but he has accepted this as part of being a couple. I’ll never lose the guilty feeling.
That’s the right way to celebrate an anniversary – not making things that go wrong the other person’s fault.
I Will Love and Honor You, All The Days of My Life
Sick as he is, my husband made sure I had a wonderful anniversary dinner. He arranged for take away from our favorite Italian restaurant, complete with a delicious dessert. We ate quietly, because when we talk we cough. He’s in shorts and a t-shirt. I’m in sweats, zipped up to my neck. Today is day two without a shower for me. Yet he sits by me, not commenting on the lack of makeup or combed hair. His olfactory senses are surely challenged by the cold, but still, no mention of my lack of “freshness”. We are older, fatter, balder. We are parents to three children, all of whom are closer to leaving us empty nesters withe very breath we take.
There are arguments, that’s for sure. But there is always love in this house. Even when we don’t see eye to eye, we honor each other’s voices, trying never to squelch the other. Well, at least not permanently.
This is where I want to be, all the days of my life. Oh, it may not be this home, this state, this country. I hope it will not be still in these sweats, hacking lungs up. But I want to always be where this love is. I hope he does, too.
And with that feeling in your heart, my friends, is the right way to celebrate an anniversary.