Comment: Positively speaking by Gary W. Moore

On May 31, 1975, at 1:15 p.m., I was sitting with my friend Rob at the Sunshine Tap in Traer, Iowa, eating a burger and fries and washing it down with a Pepsi. I was wearing cut blue jeans, an old white T-shirt with Drum & Bugle Corps Cavaliers on my chest and sandals.

Around the corner and across the street in Taylor Park, there were a hundred people starting to gather for a wedding that was due to start at 2 pm… barely 45 minutes later.

The father of the bride was nervous and paced around in his tuxedo. With every passing moment, he would check his watch, look across the park, and mumble something inaudible.

I asked for the check, paid the bill, and then Rob and I started our short walk to the park.

As we were crossing the street, I saw the father of the bride rushing towards us. “I can’t believe this!” He growled as he approached. “I didn’t think you were going to show.”

I looked at Rob. “Doesn’t it start at 2 o’clock?” ” I asked.

“Where’s your tuxedo?” He asked with growing anger.

“In the car. I’ll get dressed now. I quickly pulled away from my 1972 green Pinto and dressed outside the car. I was half amused and half intimidated, but at 2 exactly o’clock I was there as promised and I was waiting for Arlene at the altar.

That was over 46 years ago, and we are still married. Her dad grew up forgiving my flippant approach at the start of my life with his daughter, thankfully. Fast forward 46 years …

Three grown children, two grandchildren and a life together have passed in the blink of an eye. How can this be? Where does the time go?

Aging and a poor health diagnosis make me think about what this life is all about. I keep coming up with it …

“Life is who we love, who loves us back and what we build together.”

What else is there? An accumulation of stuff? Achievements? Money? It all seems so important back then, but as time goes by and we look back it just doesn’t make sense. Who we love, who loves us back and the life we ​​build together is everything.

I believe that too many marriages start without commitment.

“If that doesn’t work, there’s always a divorce,” I heard a young bride say a few years ago. Yes, it’s easy to give up and move on. It is more difficult to stick to it, overcome problems and make it work. And yes, I understand that there are some relationships that cannot be mended and that it is necessary to let go of violence and abuse along with a few other reasons, but I think most divorces are premature and often unnecessary.

My grandfather was a coal miner. He had a saying, “Stick with it and stay and make it pay.” I asked him what that meant, and he said, “Young men often quit after their first or two days in the mine. The fear of a tree collapse or simply the sickening experience of breathing the thick black dust often causes them to give up. Stick and stay was the advice the elders would give.

I realize that counseling applies to almost everything in life, including marriage. If you loved yourself enough to get married, love yourself enough to stick with it and make it work. Do not abandon.

Our marriage was far from perfect, but we stayed with each other. We are committed to building a life and a family together. We smoothed out the rough edges over time. Mistakes have been made, corrected and we have learned from them and here we are 46 years later, married and happy.

Maybe life is really only about who we love, who loves us back, and what we build together. And you know what? I think this is more than enough.

Gary W. Moore is a columnist, speaker and author of three books, including the award-winning “Playing with the Enemy”.

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