Twenty-eight years have gone by in the blink of an eye, yet when I look back at the pictures of those two kids it is sometimes hard to imagine that we were ever that young.
Rick and I also spent time yesterday discussing choices. We talked about the choices, good or bad that had led us to this point in our lives. We talked about the lessons we had learned from the consequences of those choices that have helped us become the people we are today. We acknowledged the hand of the Lord in many of the opportunities we had been given that had helped us grow and develop a strong marriage relationship and a fervent belief in a loving Heavenly Father and in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Rick and I took time yesterday to remember our ancestors by attending the temple together. As we sat together in that most sacred building, our hearts were filled with love and peace. There is no place on earth where that peace can be felt outside the House of the Lord. As we have researched and read about our ancestors, we have felt a strong connection to them; their dreams, desires, struggles, hopes, accomplishments, dedication and faith.
One of the greatest joys we have in our marriage is the joy we have in our children. Right from the beginning, Rick and I knew we wanted to have children. Our desire to be parents and provide a home that was filled with love and laughter, safety and security, a sanctuary from the world, was of the highest priority when we wed. We were overjoyed when we learned that a baby would soon be joining our little family. How tiny and fragile he was as he lay in that incubator those first days of life and how grateful we were to finally be able to take him home.
Now he is all grown up. I look at him as he starts his own family and think "Where is my little boy? Where is the Super Ter that flapped in the night?"
How grateful I am for the fine man he has become and for the wise choice he made in a companion and help meet to continue with him on life's journey. She brings a smile to his face like no other and I know that finding that joy in each other's company is priceless.
In fact marriage has been on our mind a lot this last year as we have helped plan and participate in the wedding of not just one son but all three of our sons. It has been a time of reflection for Rick and I as we have wondered if we have taught them what they need to be successful as husbands and fathers. As we pondered this question, we were so humbled that in a thank you note, one son let us know that he was grateful for the example we had provided of a happy marriage.
It makes me happy to know that the sometimes cheesiness of their parents, while embarrassing when they were teenagers, may have taught our children to not be afraid to express affection and love for their spouse. Rick and I have made it a point to always kiss each other goodbye, even if it is just for a quick run to the store or drop a child off at the bus stop. We make sure to always kiss goodnight. When we walk by each other, we will link hands for a moment or brush each other's arm or back. When walking together or sitting by each other, we always hold hands or some other form of contact.
The other lesson I hope they have gained from us is to be each other's number one supporter and defender. Life is full of up and downs. There are ruts in the path of life and unexpected detours. I have been so blessed to have a true help meet in Rick as I travel on this journey of life and I have great confidence in the companions my sons have chosen. We love them all dearly and are overjoyed to welcome them into our family. We know that their marriages will be successful and full of the best in life if they will remember and follow the admonition found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
"Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth:"
And one day in the not so distant future, they too will stand where Rick and I now stand and hope that they have set an example of faith, service, compassion, commitment and love for their children as those future children start their own journey as a family.