Love is in the air. Or, I should say, marriage is in the air. For the first time in my recent memory, people I know are tying the knot left and right.
In the Manteca Bulletin newsroom, for starters. First, there was reporter Jason Campbell exchanging vows with the love of his life just before Christmas. Then, shortly after that, our sports editor Jonamar Jacinto took the same romantic route.
Outside of the office, there’s my niece, East Union High School graduate Renelle Acosta, exchanging “I do” with her love and hero – Hiro! – in a romantic setting at a winery in Pleasanton the day after Valentine’s Day!
Even more romantic, I think, is the love story of Mantecans Al and Annie DeGroot. It’s a love story that has truly weathered the test of time. They are celebrating 60 years of marriage on Valentine’s Day with a renewal of their vows at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church followed by a reception with their family and close friends. Now, that is a marriage.
All these happy happenings got me thinking about the subject of marriage and some lessons – pearls of wisdom – I have learned from having been in the same institution for quite sometime now. One of the very first things I learned about the state of marital union is a simple but powerful one. If there was one thing I learned from the mandatory Engagement Encounter that Catholic couples have to take as part of the church-wedding requirement was this: A wedding is a day; marriage is a lifetime.
That weekend experience is a great eye-opener for engaged couples. It’s a reality check, if you will, to help you explore and gain a deeper understanding of the complex mechanics and dynamics of married life, that it’s not going to be one seamless bed of roses but a constant work toward perfection, or as perfect as you can make out of it.
The other significant lesson I learned about married life actually came from my husband. It’s a simple equation: one equals three, and three equals one. It takes three for a marriage to stay strong and happy – the husband and wife, and God. My husband always points out, as he has from the beginning, that God is the most important member of our marriage. He is the glue that keeps every marital union strongly united as one.
And, just as there is no happy life but only happy days, so is marriage. There are happy moments, and there are not-so-happy moments. Being married is a constant give-and-take. In marriage, we are united as one. However, the reality is that we still are individuals with our own God-given idiosyncrasies. And that’s where love comes in. For as the old well-worn adage says, love conquers all. But don’t just think of it. Give it constant exercise, and stay determined to let love prevail always.
I think the big secret in a happy marriage is to make sure the happy moments far surpass the challenging days, or should I say, the lemon days. And, as another old cliché goes, when you find yourself blessed with a basket of lemons – well, make lemonade! Trite, but as I keep finding out, oh so true.
To contact Rose Albano Risso, email email@example.com or call 209.249.3536.