When your children grow up and start dating, you begin to hope that they will be able to pick the right spouse, so theirs will be a “til death do we part” kind of marriage. It’s really hard to let your kids make their own choices, because you wonder if they will know what true love is, but then does anyone know at first. I don’t know how my girls both managed to get that perfect mate…just like I had…on the very first try, but they did, and I couldn’t be happier for them. Each new year of their marriage is sweeter than the year before.
My daughter, Corrie Schulenberg Petersen, married her husband Kevin Petersen 23 years ago today, and their marriage has been richly blessed. She was only two weeks out of high school, but they knew that it was right. I remember being so busy with both wedding and graduation. I barely had time to think about the fact that my little girl was getting married and leaving the nest. In fact, I recall being a bit surprised that I wasn’t torn up about it, and then just chalking it up to the fact that Corrie’s little sister, Amy was still here at home, so it wasn’t really an empty nest.
The wedding went off without a single problem. It was beautiful, and the kids were both so happy. The reception went off perfectly as well. The kids were relaxed and enjoying the time to visit with their friends and family. The cake was beautiful, the wedding gown stunning, and the rings were exchanged, but of course what made the wedding so amazing was the love shared by two young people who were now ready to set out on their own and begin a new life. Even then it didn’t occur to me that I would feel any of the common empty nest feelings. Then came the time for them to leave to begin their honeymoon. Everyone went outside to see them off, and they drove away waving and smiling. The day was over, except for the clean up.
There were still a number of guests there when I went back in, including my sister, Cheryl Masterson. As I came in the door, I turned to her and said, “Well…they’re gone.” Immediately, the floodgates burst. The tears that flowed were completely unexpected, but could not be stopped. My baby girl was a married woman, and she was heading out to start her adult life with her husband. They had each other now, and she no longer needed her mommy to guide her through life. I realize now that I was wrong, and that those were the thoughts of a newly, if not just partially, empty nester. There would be many times she…they would need me again. They were married, not gone forever. Their lives have taken many turns, and there have been many times that they have needed me, and I have needed them. They couldn’t possibly be more of a blessing to me. Happy Anniversary Corrie and Kevin!! We love you both very much!! Have a totally amazing and wonderful day!!
Sixteen years ago, my youngest daughter married her best friend, Travis. It is hard for me to believe that it has been sixteen years. I remember thinking how young they both were, but with them, it didn’t seem to matter. I suppose that is a very common thing for a mother to think when her daughter gets married. It is inevitable that you children never seem old enough to get married. Nevertheless, they were very much in love, and they have stayed very much in love all these years. Today is the 16th Anniversary of that marriage, and it has been a blessed union.
They have both worked very hard over the years to give their family the best they can afford, but more than they, they give their family love…and just as important, laughter. Their union has been blessed with 2 children, my only granddaughter Shai, and her brother Caalab. The kids are as quick witted as their parents, and that makes for lots of joking around. I remember stopping by to pick up one or both of the kids, and hearing the laughter coming from inside, quite often. You see, Travis is a bit of a class clown type, and that makes for a home filled with joking and laughter. That is not a bad thing. I think that if a family can laugh about life, they are far better able to keep their family life strong, and possibly more sane…although that might be argued by some.
In a time when many marriages fail within a year or two, their marriage becomes more and more rare with each passing year. I guess that just goes to show that with hard work and much love a marriage can grow stronger through the passing years and can stand the test of time. You just need to focus on the one you love, and not the distractions that try to come into your lives, and be true to your spouse, and you can make it. That is just what they have done, and I am very proud of both of them.
Beyond the laughter, I can say that even though sometimes there were tough times, that weathered the storms of life and came out on the other side…still in love. The kids who I wasn’t sure were ready for marriage are gone now, and in their place are two grown up, hard working people who can be counted on in times of trouble, as well as in the good times, to be an irreplaceable part of our family and a great blessing to all who know them. Happy 16th Anniversary Amy and Travis!!