Not Too Young

In honor of Mark and I’s anniversary, I am reposting this about our special day thirty-eight years ago.

On July 4th, 1974, at 2:00 PM,  I was getting married for the second time.  People who were guests at the church where I walked down the aisle, had no idea that we were already married and that they were only watching a formality.  One hour earlier, Mark and I said our vows to each other in a hospital waiting room with only our witnesses, parents, and minister present.  We did this so my Dad, who was in the hospital with terminal cancer could be with us.  I was seventeen years old and three months pregnant.  Mark had barely turned nineteen.  I wish I had a dollar for every time we heard that we were too darn young.  I can only imagine the people who were placing wagers on we wouldn’t last a year.  They would have lost, we have stayed true to our vows.  We stuck with it through times when we were at our best and more times when we were at our worst. (For better for worse)  We have finally made it to a time when it isn’t such a struggle financially, but we have seen tough, uncertain times that came from farming and from raising six children. (For richer for poorer)  I am never ever sick but Mark has some major health issues.  (Sickness and health)

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a marriage splits up and I hear someone say, “Well, they just got married too darn young!”  I argue that I don’t see what age has to do with it!  I think just as many marriages fail when the bride and groom are in their thirty’s as do the ones when they are teens.  Out of my small high school class, several of us got married right out of high school or shortly afterwards and most are still together.  In fact one of them got married when he was sixteen and she was fourteen, they raised two daughters, and are about to celebrate their fortieth anniversary.

Mark and I have said many times that we think getting married so young was good for us, we finished raising each other!  Marrying as young as we did, made it easier for us to mold to one another, to chip away at the two different family dynamics we brought with us, until we had the right combination to form our own, new, unique, family unit that works for us.  Over the years we have both grown so dependent on each other the D-word is not an option.  I think we need to thank all those nay-sayers for telling us how young we were and how we weren’t going to make it, and thanks to Mark’s aunt who said that I wouldn’t make Mark a good wife because I was a “city girl” and he needed to marry a farm girl who would be able to help him with his work.  (I came from a town with a population of 55)  It rubbed me the wrong way and I was out to prove her wrong!  I think (know) that neither Mark or I deserve any credit for beating the odds, for without the good Lord’s help we would be just another statistic.  For his love and guidance I am exceedingly grateful!

I do know that thirty-eight years has gone way WAY too fast.  I sometimes get blue realizing it would be very unusual for us to be able to spend another thirty-eight years together.  Too many couples don’t even reach their fiftieth before one of them is called home.  That is only twelve years away!  How is that possible!?  I’m glad Mark and I started our life together so young.  That many more memories made, that many more experiences shared, that many more fusses and disagreements that we learned from, that much more time to have gotten to know one another inside and out.

I guess we’ve come full circle. Now we actually sometimes hear “you’re too old for that”.  We just smile, knowing that we will never be too old any more than we were ever too young!

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