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Friday, October 10, 2014


My husband was having a conversation with a good friend the other day.  Something about life and home and family and the stresses that inevitably come. After some talk of his own experiences, this friend turned to my husband and said, "Well, we can't all be lucky like you."

My husband came home that evening and told me about it.  My first reaction was the same as his had been: "lucky?!". We were mildly irked, in spite of our mutual fondness for this fine person, because his comment had, I suppose, invalidated our story. Still, we both put it aside as something that, "doesn't matter."

Boutonniere-whitesuitCC BY 2.5view termsDavid Ball - Own work
For days though, it has niggled at me. Why, I have wondered, does it bother me?  What does it matter? With a day off of work and lace in my hands, my thoughts are always more clear.  I now know why it matters.  Here is why:

I hope you don't think we're lucky.

I'm sure it might look that way.  With the marital harmony and financial security of middle life, things must look smooth and easy, like a gift that we didn't have to unwrap.  But, I do hope that you don't misunderstand.

I hope you don't think that we are lucky, while you are young and are wondering, as we both did at times, whether you have made the right choice of a spouse, -because you will wonder.  I hope that when you're sitting on the ground at the top of the hill at two in the morning , as I once did, and listening to the horses scrape and wuffle in the dark with tears in your eyes because you aren't happy - that you don't think I am lucky. I hope that when the stack of bills is tall and the money is low, as it has been for us at times over the years, you don't think that we are lucky. I hope that when you wish you hadn't married this person -(because you will have those times)- you don't think that we are lucky.  Because marriage is bigger than me and you.  Marriage is about vocation and commitment and family.  Marriage is about blessing society and the Church. Marriage is about making a choice and sticking to it.  Marriage is about holding fast during the rocky times, because you will find the smooth stretches.  Marriage isn't to make you happy.  Marriage is about being married.  The really amazing gift is that in the process of being committed to marriage and family, together you sort out the living and then contentment settles in on you and engulfs you in a deeper joy than simple happiness could ever provide.

I hope you don't think we are lucky, because if you do, you may think that you are not.  You may think that and then walk away from one of the only earthly things that can truly bring you joy.  You might give up before you've had a chance to really learn to live.

Hochzeitsfotograf-Wedding-RingCC BY 3.0SebCon - Own work
We are not lucky.  We are stubborn and committed.  We believe in marriage and family.  We believe in holding fast when the waves are crashing and the ship seems unstable.  We believe in battening down the hatches and staying aboard until the ship can be righted. That's all.

Stay the course.  As long as you are not in danger or dealing with someone so psychologically unhealthy that things cannot possibly be made right, stay the course.  You will find peace and harmony and contentment.  You will find your way together, and throughout the journey, you will look beside you and see the same person that you began it with.  Holding steady.  Being true.  Toward the end, youth will have faded and children will move on, but that person will still be there, breathing in the dark while you sit on the bed at two in the morning, listening with tears in your eyes, because you are happy and because you are not alone and because you cannot imagine anyone else lying beside you.  Stay the course, because you're not going to be lucky, but, friends, luck has nothing to do with it.

Pax Christi dear ones,

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