40 is a gift

Back in November of 2014, after Entrepreneur was diagnosed with renal cell cancer, doctors told us the average life expectancy was five years after diagnosis. After his brain surgery to remove a renal cell-related cancer tumor in 2017, I remember thinking if we could just get to our 38-year anniversary, I’d be happy; 39 would be amazing; 40 would be a gift. And, I’m not going to lie, there was a time when he was battling chemotherapy and Bells Palsy where I just wasn’t sure he was long for this world. But, here we are in 2020 and he’s still kickin’, and looking pretty darn good, considering the mileage. We ARE celebrating our 40th anniversary and I couldn’t care less that it’s in the middle of a pandemic.

But let’s start at the beginning. A long time ago at a university far, far away……there was this city girl from Kansas City, Missouri, who met this country boy from Lohman, Missouri. They dated throughout college and decided in 1980 it was time to get married.

The minister at country boy’s church counseled them beforehand and confided to country boy’s mom he didn’t think the marriage would last because their backgrounds were sooooo different.

But, city girl’s dad walked her down the aisle on July 26, 1980.

And boy, did that minister turn out to be wrong.

So began our journey together. For better or for worse; for richer or for poorer; in sickness and in health……..

No one truly understands or comprehends those words when they say them in the moment. There’s no way to anticipate what type of road lies ahead; whether it will be a smooth, flat highway or one filled with detours, curves and potholes big enough in which to lose a car.

Anniversaries are time for reflection and this is a big one. I have little confidence we’ll see 50 years together so each year now is going to be filled with gratitude and thankfulness for the good, the bad and the ugly times.

It’s true, in the beginning, we were both mentally unprepared and ill equipped for what we’d gotten ourselves into. After all, we were only 22 years old, fresh out of college with an idealistic view of what the future held. I like to think of that time as our rookie season. Life came at us fast and hard.

Over the next four decades, we moved nine times; oversaw the building of two houses; Entrepreneur changed jobs six times; we raised two daughters to be functional adults; shared our lives with six fur babies and currently have two under roof. Between us, we’ve weathered back surgery, two rotator cuff surgeries, knee surgery, a nephrectomy (kidney removal), and brain surgery. Add in six months of Bells Palsy and 18 months of chemotherapy for good measure. We’re also co-parenting two grand girls.

Over four decades I’ve learned two very important lessons. One is you don’t have to say EVERYTHING you’re thinking, and the second is to never assume the other person knows WHAT you are thinking. Keep these two things in mind and it’s a smoother ride. Of course, sharing the same faith worldview, providing encouragement, offering forgiveness, showing empathy and having a sense of humor goes a long way as well.

In four days, by the grace of God we will have made it to 40 “officially married” years together. We’ve come a long, long way from those two very green, twenty-two-year-old children who thought they could and should conquer the world. We’ve experienced life lessons together and learned a lot about each other and ourselves. Like I said….the good, the bad and the ugly. Facing cancer put a lot of things into perspective and brought priorities front and center.

Whatever happens in the future now, I’m thankful and grateful for the journey we’re taking together.

Linking up with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday.




16 thoughts on “40 is a gift

  1. What a wonderful journey of your married life. Life if full of ups and downs and it sure is wonderful to have your best friend, husband and lover at your side.

    Happy Anniversary to your both.

    Have a fabulous Thankful Thursday. Big hug. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a wonderful, wonderful reason to celebrate. It sure has been a journey and it’s terrific that you got to do it together. Happy Anniversary from all of us and thanks for joining our Thankful Thursday Blog Hop!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful post. Loved seeing your wedding pictures. Life takes us on many different journeys and it’s a struggle at time but having someone by your side to go through them with you is indeed a blessing. Wishing you many more anniversaries to come. Congrats on making it to number 40.

    Liked by 1 person


    That’s amazing because I do remember back in 2014 when he was first diagnosed, which I can’t believe that was SIX years ago because it seems like only yesterday.

    What a great story! And I love the photographs! Your wedding gown is just lovely.

    And how true it is about how no one truly understands those words in the moment. It’s only along the journey do they come to light.

    “Whatever happens in the future now, I’m thankful and grateful for the journey we’re taking together.”

    LOVED that! And that final photograph expresses it so beautifully because you can see the LOVE!

    Thanks so much for sharing. This is so beautiful!

    Cheers to you both!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Love the Wedding Pictures and Love You Both! You have been through a lot but you have gone through it together – I admire you both so much! Happy 40th (tomorrow) and wishing you many more – plus, health, wealth, and continued happiness! You two are totally AWESOME!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Anniversary, you guys!
    What a journey you’ve been experiencing together.
    I am trying to come up with wedding songs from 1980: Styx, Boat on the River? Pink Floyd, another Brick in the Wall? ABBA, I have a dream?

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Wow, congrats to you both. Lisa . . . Your attitude toward life has helped me on more than one occasion. Congrats and wishing you many more beautiful years together!
    Lisa S

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he turned to me and heard my cry.
    He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
    out of the mud and mire;
    he set my feet on a rock
    and gave me a firm place to stand.
    He put a new song in my mouth,
    a hymn of praise to our God.
    Many will see and fear the Lord
    and put their trust in him.

    Of course, Psalm 40. Congrats.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Where have I been? | Peripheral Perceptions

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