Friday, June 29, 2007

Fifty Years Ago [Exclusive]

Nearly fifty years ago a young girl was chopping cotton in the hot summer fields of Alabama. Each summer she worked in the fields to contribute to the family and spent any “spare” time on house chores. She washed clothes, tended the farm animals, and helped take care of the family. These efforts developed a focus on the importance to prepare for the tasks ahead.

Everything she knew about this wonderful world was confined to the books she read and the stories she heard when her Uncle Fred and Aunt Virginia visited. But those stories were enough to spark an interest. Deep inside she desired to see the world she read about, but alas, it was merely a dream for a young girl growing up in the desolation of the rural South.

Nearly fifty years ago a young man spent his days working at a saw mill. From the money he earned he forfeited a share to the family income. After his expenditures little was left. For this young man the future rested in his father’s lessons of honesty and a hard day’s work.

The young man’s world centered around skills to survive a lifestyle slowly escaping the grips of the post depression Appalachian South. Friends and relationships were key to surviving and he had honed these skills well.

Personally I didn’t witness the events of this time, but looking at the evidence suggests the joining of these two souls as inevitable. Each combined traits to carry them from a world of borrowing gas money for a week to growing a family founded on the principals of truth, hard work, and education.

These two souls are about to commemorate fifty years together as a wedded couple. Today’s worldly challenges to both the spirit and the sanctity of marriage prove the decision made sound. The blessings bestowed upon this commitment mean they can now look at the years past and celebrate the trials and tribulations that brought them to this pinnacle in life.

Cindy and I once participated in our church’s premarital counseling program. We attended a seminar to prepare us for the challenge and that seminar revealed a very important secret to marital bliss. Just as life isn’t stagnant, neither is our relationships. Our marriage is not a single commitment to each other, but a living bond requiring daily renewal and adjustment.

This couple didn’t have that training and weren’t privy to this psychological nugget. Yet they discovered through their own adventures that only through this evolving interdependence would they survive.

Congratulations Mom and Dad on your upcoming fiftieth wedding anniversary. Celebrate your success and delve into the rewards of your efforts. You have proven to the agnostic soul that the American dream is still alive if the dreamer is willing to do their share.