FIFTY YEARS MINUS ONE

I was just sitting here thinking of years gone by and the fact that this year my husband and I will be celebrating our 49th anniversary. I realize that 50 years is considered the ‘Golden’ anniversary but I’m just reminiscing and looking back to where it all began. We’re at our daughters’ and her family’s place in the States, ‘kid’ sitting for a week. That’s when they’re not small children anymore but pre-teen and teenage. I was telling them some stories of early years when their mother and their uncles were young.

I met my husband when I was only 15 and he was 19. Now normally that would be considered too young to get serious but for us it seemed we were meant for each other. There was no intention on my part to do anything but start working full-time when I completed the 10th grade and turned16 years of age. My upbringing did not include college or university to be in the future, as it was just not affordable. I was living with my Mother and needed to start contributing to the household expenses. She worked hard for many years and had raised 10 children…myself being the last. Now it was my turn to help.

My husband and I became engaged while he was in the hospital as it was suspected that he had tuberculosis. He was only in for 5 months or so. He had a jeweler come to the hospital with some rings and selected one to surprise me with. We planned to be married when I turned 18 which was the following summer.

Four months after being married I found out we were expecting our first child. That was the beginning really of what would be the circumstances of having and raising our family. Our first was a boy and then another boy and then a girl by the time I was 24.

Now days young adults are perhaps thinking of getting married at some point, but here we were parents of three children and buying our first house at that age.

Things happened fast and when I look back, emotionally I was not prepared for the huge responsibility that was ours. However, we managed to deal with each step along the way, and each challenge that having a family entails. There were the diapers, the feedings, the sleepless nights, the sick child, and everything that every parent experiences. But it was very hard at such a young age. We had good role models though. My husband had both his parents and I had my Mom who helped us in so many ways, but mainly just in support and making us aware that we could do anything that we had to.

There is no denial that those years were very difficult and our marriage, while we were both committed to making it work, suffered many a bruise.

We went through times when we weren’t sure we could handle everything. During some of these years I suffered from depression, which I have spoken of before in previous blogs. I worked full-time except during the period of having the children which I worked part-time.

However, as I look back now as amazed as I am having been married almost 49 years, there was never a question that we were ordained by God to be together for the rest of our life. We grew up together and now we are growing old together!

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