Married half my life
By Jennifer Clark Tinker
Originally posted at Living Faith. Republished with permission of the author.
On May 20, 1995, when I married my David 19 years ago, I was 19 years old. I’ve been married to that guy for half my life now!
It blows my mind when I think of it like that – married half my life!
Of course, we’ll have to have a big party for our 20th anniversary next year or a second honeymoon or some such. But this milestone right here, to have reached the point where I’ve been married for as many years as I was single, is a pretty big deal to me.
Tink is 10 years older than I am, so he has reached (or will reach) most milestones in life before I do. But this is one where me being younger means reaching this milestone earlier in my life than he will. (He was 28 when we got married and he is 48 now, so it will be another eight years before Tink will have been married to me for half his life.)
This milestone is significant to me because of the commitment it represents. Naturally, I meant it when I said, “until we are parted by death.” The commitment I made was for keeps.
But at 19 years old, it was hard to think about much beyond the elation of having snagged a seminarian and convincing him to marry me. I was just so eager to be married in the right-now of it.
I could see ahead a little to being married to a pastor, sharing the highs and lows of parish life together. I could picture having little Tinkers running around our home.
At 19 years in though, there is so much that I could not have imagined. I never saw years of infertility problems coming. I didn’t anticipate the moving around the country that we’ve done. I didn’t expect to be such a depressed mess.
But I also didn’t know how hard we could love despite all of the pain and change in our lives. I didn’t know how very tightly we would cling to one another through it all.
I didn’t know love could be this big.
Oh, there was a lot of excitement to our love before we got married and it was consuming.
But to be here, twice as old and to only just now begin to really understand how big love can really be?
That a guy would stick with me even when it looked like I could never provide a child for him? That I would stick with him from state to state for this ministry life? That he would stand with me in the throes of depression?
And even after all that, we still can’t wait to tell each other about our day? And we still laugh together every chance we get?
Half my life later and it feels like we are just starting to discover what this marriage commitment really entails. And I know now that I still can’t know what will be next for us in life.
And if we live good, long lives, I hope that half a lifetime later from now we are still surprised by our love.
Happy anniversary, David James Tinker! I love you forever! You’re the best!
Find a link to Jennifer Clark Tinker’s blog Living Faith at Lutheran Blogs.