Yesterday we celebrated our 47th anniversary. Most often people only stop to reflect on what is considered to be a milestone anniversary. For us every year is a milestone to be celebrated. We have had quiet ones alone before children and since they are grown. We have had busy ones with children and family and friends. We have been in Hawaii and Aruba for anniversaries. Two of our children have anniversaries on either side of our date. As we were approaching our anniversary this year we recognized that it would take on a different tenor with all the activities of our children during this month. What came to mind for me was The Circle of Life from The Lion King. Our life has indeed come full circle this year. For our first anniversary we dressed up and went into the city (Chicago) for a night out. This year we are enjoying our anniversary with three of our grandchildren who are staying with us this week as they are moving from Dayton to Dallas. My niece who has been our travel companion for many trips is here as well. We planned and prepared a meal together. Today our daughter and our two granddaughters will arrive as well as our son and daughter-in-law and other two grandchildren who we helped move to a new home last week. Our son and his fiancée will join us on Sunday and then on Monday we will fly to Dallas for a few weeks. The Circle of Life!
The Circle of Life
From the day we arrive on the planet
And blinking, step into the sun
There’s more to be seen than can ever be seen
More to do than can ever be done
Our years together have been filled to overflowing with people and opportunities that we have experienced. We had many dreams and hopes as we walked down the aisle and out of the Church that day. Most have been fulfilled, but more came our way than we ever expected. We have seen so many places in the world and yet so much is left unseen. We have had the opportunity to do many things including being parents, wonderful careers, and all the ways we have touched peoples lives in our marriage enrichment activities and other service things we have done. Yet there is still so much more to do. We have more things on our to-do list than we thought would be there at this time in our lives. We are amazed as new friends and people come into our lives.
Some say eat or be eaten
Some say live and let live
But all are agreed as they join the stampede
You should never take more than you give.
Some where we learned – perhaps it was instilled by our parents – that “we should never take more than we give. So we would be remiss if we did not say that our hearts are filled with gratitude as we recognize the love that our parents shared and how they taught us how to live in a marriage relationship. There have been so many that have filled our lives to overflowing whether they were neighbors or friends, or colleagues and extended family, all the married couples, singles, priests and religious who became our friends as the years unfolded. Where would we be without our children and their spouses, who are also our children, and grandchildren? Many have come and gone in our life. Some left us to return to the Lord; others lives, or ours, went in different directions. Each touched us and is responsible for making us who we are. We are filled with gratitude. We do our best not to take more than we give but know that we have been rewarded far more than we have given.
In the circle of life
It’s the wheel of fortune
It’s the leap of faith
It’s the band of hope
Till we find our place
On the path unwinding
In the circle, the circle of life
Our Circle of Life continues to enlarge. The Wheel of Fortune has given us more than we think we deserve. It has called us and continues to call us to take many leaps of faith. As I was writing our grandson asked me if everything is possible. I told him that with God everything is possible. He said “now that is something to think about.” Leaps of faith have been rewarded with more hope than any band could contain, The path of our marriage continues to unwind and as we stop to catch our breath at times we continue to wonder where it will take us next. We know it is a circle and as we remember the beginning of our marriage we know that someday it will be complete and it will end.
Some of us fall by the wayside
And some of us soar to the stars
And some of us sail through our troubles
And some have to live with the scars
Have we fallen off the path on occasion? Perhaps some might say that we have, but in all honesty we have always held hands as we walked together. We have even soared a few times. We have been blessed to have sailed on troubled waters only a few times but we do carry a few scars from those times. But that too is the circle of life.
There’s far too much to take in here
More to find than can ever be found
But the sun rolling high through the sapphire sky
Keeps great and small on the endless round
I have said on many occasions as we reflect back on our life together, “not too shabby for two kids who came from very humble beginnings.” Memories that we share, opportunities that have came our way, the journeys we have taken, the people who have been and are in our lives often come over me like a deluge and is too much to take in. Yet we continue to find more than many are blessed to find. The sun shines in our sky and the Son keeps all great and small on the endless round, the circle of our life.
It should be obvious that 47 years isn’t nearly long enough to love and be loved by this strong woman, gracious lady and incomparable lover. I am very aware and grateful to God, today and always, for the gift of Rita.
Today’s scripture readings, reflection and prayer:
Bob & Rita’s book: Forever and Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage That Lasts a Lifetime is available on Amazon.com or by contacting us. Also available for Kindle and Nook. Make a retreat with your spouse, at home, on your time. Readings, relationship tips, questions for discussion.