♥ Stephen & Suzanne Wilke ♥
August 13, 1972
Jefferson Avenue Church of Christ – Cookeville, TN
Yesterday my parents celebrated their 41st wedding anniversary. What a tremendous accomplishment. They’ve been husband and wive for a third of their lives. How cool is that? I’m in awe of couples– married or not– whose time together spans decades. Committed relationships require hard work and sacrifice. It’s not always a walk in the park. Growing up I recognized that not all families had both of their parents in the home, so I knew I was lucky to have Mom and Dad under the same roof, but I did not fully comprehend just how blessed I was until I got older. What they have is what I want in life [minus the holy matrimony part of that equation]– and what I expected in my own marriage. Obviously that didn’t pan out so well….but I’ve always been a rebel. Everyone in my family has been happily married forever so I just had to buck tradition and be happily divorced.
So what’s the secret to their success? Here’s my opinion: my parents treat each other with respect; laugh often; communicate regularly; listen [as opposed to just hearing] attentively; share inside jokes, rituals, and traditions; remember the little things; present a united front; help one another with tasks large and small; focus on their family; know how to compromise; trust completely; and appreciate their shared experiences. Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad, and many more happy ones to come.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,