Twenty Years Goes By Fast

It seems like only last week when my husband yelled over the roar of the jet engine into my ear, “I cannot believe it has been fifteen years since we have been alone together in a tube filled with recycled air and screaming babies.” In fact, it was just last week when the two of us headed to a Floridian resort to celebrate the fact that twenty years ago we vowed in front of God, friends and family, and the church janitor to stay together for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, and in sickness and in health—without the need for noise-reducing headphones, costly therapy sessions, and unsolicited advice from the postal carrier.

Take it from me: fifteen years is a long time to go without taking a vacation with the one who has seen you (and your hair) at your very worst. Not to worry, our excuse for not going is completely valid and used daily by couples around the world: we have children. But now, they both have finally reached the age where they claim to have never had parents at all, therefore, completely freeing us up to leave town with nothing more than our suitcases and a simple threat: Do not get into trouble or else.

We couldn’t get to our beach chairs soon enough. Hours after leaving our suburban lives behind, we lay sprawled in the sun like two scantily clad lizards. As the sound of the waves immediately lulled us into a hypnotic state, I glanced over at my husband who was slathering sunscreen on his earlobes. He smiled and emphatically said, “Boy, we really needed this trip, didn’t we?”

I nodded. He was right. We really had needed the time away together. As I watched people with imperfect bodies stroll along the beach in front of us, occasionally stopping to admire a shell or build a sand castle, I wondered what they were there to celebrate. It was not long before a young couple wandered near us, laughing and holding hands. I watched them closely, mesmerized by their energy and obvious love for each other. As they began to gather shells in a pile, I soon realized their mission as I watched them create two words with the shells in the sand: Our Honeymoon.After admiring their work, the young couple walked down the beach until they became tiny dots on the horizon, not realizing that I was quietly blessing them with the wish that they would always remember that moment—that happiness—that love.

Twenty years goes by fast. I turned to my husband and picked up his hand. I held it tightly as I watched waves crash onto the shore and thought about our lives together. Just like all married couples, we had been through a lot, but we were definitely stronger for every experience. I smiled as I remembered my father-in-law’s comment on our wedding video, “You two are perfect for each other.” He was right.

Just then, my husband squeezed my hand, prompting me to look over at him as he said, “I’m glad I married you.” I leaned over and whispered, “Me too.”

And that was the moment that two scantily clad lizards vowed once again in front of God, an elderly gentleman armed with a metal detector, and two stingrays to stay together forever.

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“A successful marriage requires falling in love many times, always with the same person.”

—Mignon McLaughlin

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About Vicky DeCoster

Award-winning humor writer Vicky DeCoster is the author of "From Diapers to Dorkville," "Husbands, Hot Flashes, and All That Hullabaloo!" and "The Wacky World of Womanhood." She has been published in over 60 magazines, books, and on several web sites. Vicky lives in Nebraska with her husband and two children where she loves to laugh every day. Visit her at www.wackywomanhood.com.
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8 Responses to Twenty Years Goes By Fast

  1. Okay, that was a sweet one and I will smile the rest of the evening!

  2. rackofribs says:

    From one lizard to another, I thought our fifteenth anniversary was long enough to wait. So we pulled up some lounge chairs and gazed lovingly at each other and… went to the presentation and actually bought the stupid time share. Now we’re really in it for the long haul.

  3. Becky Magnussen says:

    That was nice, Happy Anniversary you two!

  4. Oh Vicky — so sweet! 🙂 What a beautiful recollection of your anniversary trip. I especially loved this line, “not realizing that I was quietly blessing them with the wish that they would always remember that moment—that happiness—that love.” Sounds like someone may have wished the same thing for you, 20 years ago.

    We’re coming up on 12 years in, gosh, just a few days! I hadn’t even realized my anniversary was almost here. I’m sure that happened to you when your kids’ schedules were like mine are now. Some things just get pushed aside.

    But now you’ve made me think. And check the calendar again — is it already September 25th? If so, then my anniversary is almost here! Not only don’t I have plans, I didn’t even remember it until I read your post. I’m going to start thinking of something we can do. Even if it’s small. Last year we tried to catch a Red Sox game, and were rained out! It was still amazing to be out for a night while my parents watched the kids. And my husband and I spent the whole three hours in the pouring rain, I’m talking deluge, dancing. They played music, to entertain us, I guess, until they decided to call the game. We had so much fun, and were up on the JumboTron over and over! Some dry and warm cameraman was getting a kick out of us. What a treat, to be “famous” at Fenway. Of course, nobody saw us, as only a dozen or so other crazy rain-soaked fans waited with us, but it was a night I’ll always remember. They gave us tickets to come back the next night, when it would be dry, but wouldn’t you know it, we were so tired from our big rainy night out that we gave the tickets to my parents! Ahhhh… these years with young children. Wouldn’t change a thing.

    • Hey, happy anniversary to you two crazy kids! I love your story about dancing in the rain. In fact, I think I’m penciling that in to do on our 21st wedding anniversary celebration. Every year, month, day, and minute is a celebration when you find your happily ever after. Many blessings to you both as you continue on your journey through life together.

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