By Judith Whitehead
This month my husband and I will celebrate 43 years of marriage, although having met as young teenagers, we have spent almost 50 years getting to know each other.
My husband tells me that I am not the same person he married, and rightfully so.
We were still nearly teenagers when we married, and what teens know what they want and who they are at that point in their lives?
Still in college and living under our parents’ roofs, we had not experienced the freedom of being on our own, so to speak.
We still were working on spreading our wings and becoming individuals. Back in my teen days, believe it or not, I was not the same person as I am today. Still shy and sheltered from the world, we both grew older and wiser together along the way.
Our families were reluctant to believe our marriage would last as we were so young and penniless, but we persevered and as time passed we grew up together and found the magic key to success.
Working together and compromising with each other was the only way to make it, and when you start with nothing but each other’s friendship, there is nothing to lose.
Money is not an issue if you have none, and working together to start a life with each other is the only goal to maintain.
Yes, over the years we have had many trials and tribulations, but we always gave each other strength to get through those tough times and were able to raise a nice family despite our ups and downs.
I am not sure our young people of today have that same work ethic – that hard work will pay off.
It seems to be all about immediate gratification these days, with our millennials starting out on their own.
They are in a hurry to find that perfect job, make a pile of money and get on with their lives. What they haven’t realized is that the effort to be patient and slowly reach your goals will bring much more satisfaction and happiness than immediate gratification.
Yes, life is very short, as we can attest to, and friends, family and acquaintances will come and go more quickly than you will realize. Marriage starts off in the “puppy love” stage and grows into friendship with someone to share your life with.
Someone you can always depend on – a ying and yang, so to speak.
We have learned all too well that family and friends that become family provide the base for happiness, and not just riches that can be gone in a second.
I am sure that with all the tragic happenings around the world it has brought home what brings happiness and what it means to them all.
So with the date fast approaching that will mark our 43rd year of marriage, we are more than grateful that we can spend the date together still enjoying decent health and each other’s company; still being able to work and contribute at our careers and being able to stay close with our immediate family that is our greatest accomplishment.
Watching our children grow into wonderful adults is the greatest gift of all.
What more could a couple ask for?