Monday, Jul. 08, 2002
Dear Diary:

So what with all the stupidly humid heat we've been having and all the exhausting digging I've been doing, the um, er, ah marital duties have slid into something of a slump lately.

Just ignore that whining sound you hear in the background. That would be the spousal unit.

Don't worry, he cries himself to sleep.


Don't ask me how I know that, I just do.

We're both testier with each other than we normally would be and it's reminded me that although sex doesn't make a great foundation for a marriage, it certainly keeps the engine of a marriage purring along.

Note to self: release The Inner Hootchie Momma. She needs to go on a rampage.

Note to daughter: JUST KIDDING. I want to reassure you that your father and I have NEVER done the nasty and yes indeedie you ARE the product of immaculate conception.

Really. I mean it.

I've been thinking about what makes some marriages last and others crash and burn. I suppose that's because we went to another 50th wedding anniversary party this weekend and it was kind of bitter sweet celebration.

The two people involved are in their eighties, which means they didn't find each other until their early 30's. Unlike most of us, they probably went into their marriage fully formed and with their eyes wide open.

For all the years I've known them, there was a real affection between them, a genuine sharing. Both enjoyed such extraordinary health and vitality it was hard to believe they were anywhere near the ages on their birth certificates.

It used to make me grin that he often called her "his bride".

Up until a few years ago, he was a very strong, gung-ho man, still working as a consultant with endless little projects on the go. If there was a boss in that marriage, I suppose it was him.

Then, without warning, a stroke kneecapped him. It took away the man he once was and left behind a gentle, slightly befuddled teddy bear. The man who once solved complex shipping problems for large organizations suddenly found it hard to organize himself enough to walk the dog.

Remarkably, she has adapted to this new man and to the new role she must play so late in her life. Once the unfettered artistic one, now she's the grounded one, the one in charge of all the organizing.

I watched her the other night, surrounded by children, grandchildren, friends and I marvelled at her happiness, at her serenity and most of all at how she found the grit to make the metamorphosis she needed to make.

For better and for worse, for sickness and in health, for richer and for poorer, forsaking all others, love, honour and cherish ... I know I can say that I didn't really grasp what an enormous promise I was making 28 years ago in the little white clapboard church a few miles from my home.

Now I do.

I hope I can keep it half as well as she.


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She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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