Last week, my in-laws celebrated their 35th anniversary. I was in search of a greeting card that adequately reflected their journey, but I wasn’t able to find one. So I wrote one.
In 35 years…
You fought wars. Sometimes against one another; but, the most valuable battles were fought hand-in-hand, while you faced life’s challenges, endured sorrow, and overcame obstacles. You found strength in two hearts, when one was not strong enough.
You found friendship. You spoke words of encouragement in moments of darkness. You offered solace to thoughts of worry and angst. You gave meaning to the words commitment, companionship, and unconditional love.
You gave life. You cuddled tiny bodies, held tiny hands, and tickled tiny toes. You heard first words, took delight in little laughter, and witnessed first steps. You strove to make yourselves the best people you could be to teach your children good values. You watched them grow into hardworking, intelligent, and loving men.
You learnt to love. You learnt that real love doesn’t sing songs. Real love has little to do with romance, and more to do with compromises, sacrifices, and acceptance. It is unconditional and unwavering. It strengthens and grows with time. Real love puts others above the self and rejoices in simple truths.
You built a life. For 12 785 days, regardless of the conditions life presented, you worked tirelessly to make sure your family ate warm, home-cooked meals. You made them feel safe, loved, and special. You took on the burden of making the right decisions for your family, no matter how difficult it may have been. You created a home that was full of love.
In 35 years, you have created something exceptional. A marriage is more than the sum of all that you’ve accomplished. The days can be counted, but the memories cannot. Your marriage is about the lives you have touched, the values you have imparted, the lessons you have learnt, the examples you have set, and the respect you have earned. For that, you should be proud.