The biblical Book of Proverbs, chapter 31, verses 10-11, says of the 'Ideal Wife':
A good wife, who can find?
She is far more precious than jewels.
The heart of her husband trusts in her,
and he will have no lack of gain.
I am convinced that the writer was thinking about Molly when he wrote that.
GK Chesterton once said that being constrained to only one woman was a small price to pay for the privilege of having so much as one woman.
I think he was thinking of Molly, too.
I have struggled with how I can tell you about my wife without being sappier than a maple tree in March. I'm still not sure I can, but I do want you to meet my amazing wife.
To start from bare facts -
- Molly was the second of ten kids (oldest daughter; seven boys, three girls)
- She grew up in a small farming town in Michigan's 'thumb'
- She's five months younger than me, although she was a year behind me in school
- She has a degree in Child Development. When being introduced to people for the first time, she likes to say that she got the ultimate job in her field (ie, developing children)
We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last summer, and our kids threw a party for us, and 150 or so of our closest friends. We were reflecting afterward that 25 years was a milestone worth celebrating, and that if we had stopped to celebrate even 20 years, it wouldn't have been as significant, because the last five years have really tested us.
A friend of mine used to say that he had been married for 27 wonderful years, "and 27 out of 33 isn't too bad." I can remember a time when we had been married a couple years, and Molly was in tears, lamenting that, "I wanted us to have a really GOOD marriage."
Now, after almost 26 years, I think we've got a good marriage. A REALLY good marriage. It's just taken us a while. The first 2-3 years of our marriage were mostly about the two of us (me probably more than her) figuring out what it really meant to be MARRIED, as distinct from 'really good friends who live together and have sex'. Accountability took some time to get figured out.
Then we started having kids, and while that was going on, life happened in a dozen other arenas. And we grew together. Just the way it was supposed to happen.
Sometime around four or five years ago, we embarked on a couple major adventures in the form of a couple of our kids (how shall I say it?) losing their minds. Our comfortable life was kicked sideways, and there were times when we wondered if our family was going to hold together.
Somewhere in the midst of the turmoil, we sort of looked at each other, and made a fundamental decision that, even if we lost all our kids, we weren't going to lose our marriage. We had friends who'd had similar tragedies in their lives, whose marriages hadn't survived the strain (the temptation to start pointing fingers can get pretty overwhelming) and that hadn't worked out to anybody's benefit. So we worked hard to make sure that, whatever else was true, our marriage would be strong - we made sure that communication was good (setting aside an hour every week just to do something as mundane as review the schedule, pays for itself many times over), and we stirred up small acts of affection (our kids tease us because we hold hands in public). And our marriage is stronger now than it was before the trouble started.
As we go along, I'm sure you'll get a better picture of who Molly is. For now, I just want you all to know how wonderful my wife is, and how incredibly much richer my life is for having her in it.