How does one celebrate twenty-five years of marriage? It’s not as if that particular milestone on one’s marital journey is innately distinct from the year before or the one hopefully to follow. Yet our culture nods sternly toward the expectation that any couple who has made it this far, and is not in the midst of divorce proceedings, ought to do something special to mark the achievement.
Anticipating that my wife, Beth, and I would attain said landmark, we planned to do it right and travel for a week to Hawaii this summer. As the day approached and time constraints were more carefully considered, we modified the plan to five days in the Canadian Rockies. Later, fiscal realities were assessed (we live on one salary and bankroll four teenagers) and our anniversary week was recast as jetting away for four days on the east coast. In the end, we took off in our minivan for three days on the North Shore.
We could not have been happier in a penthouse suit overlooking the French Riviera. The point was that we were alone, celebrating a quarter-century of life together. We enjoyed every minute, recognizing with grateful hearts that many marriages never survive to see this day. Here we were, best friends, still in love, playing together, praying together, enjoying long talks until speech gave way to silence that had long ago ceased to prove awkward.