Over the weekend, I read on Huffington Post one of the most beautiful celebrations of marriage that I think I’ve ever seen. Screenwriter and playwright Sherman Yellen takes us through sixty years of his marriage through lovely black and white photos and even lovelier words that are anything but black and white.
He and his wife were Depression-era babies who loved each other through World War II, the turbulent 60’s, Vietnam and so many other world-changing events. His story is written so beautifully, with humor and wisdom and is a real testimony to the power of a happy marriage.
It’s a story we modern marrieds with our modern ideas would do well to read. As he puts it:
Today, some long marriages may seem the result of cowardice or inertia, the refusal to make a new start, and then another new start followed by yet another start as one age’s out of romantic love into terminal loneliness. Sociologists and anthropologists tell us that man was never meant to be monogamous, and that the short life spans of the past were the only reason for one wife and one husband for one life. Somehow I think monogamy will outlast sociology.”
This is not some elderly curmudgeon dispensing rough wisdom about how irresponsible and uncommitted modern married couples are.
This is an extremely intelligent and witty man with a beautiful way with words, dispensing encouragement about the value and beauty of years we haven’t yet reached.
Growing old with someone you deeply love is often both the best and the worst of life’s experiences. Among the best are the shared joys — a lot of easy laughter with and without the kids — the kids who for all the pains of parenting, can and do grow into friends and good people if you can accept the hard fact that your children are not you. And then there is the inevitable blending of selves without losing the self; something that can only happen to a couple over time, something that goes far beyond sexual union.”
Do yourselves a favor. Go read this beautiful celebration of love, commitment and friendship. It’s a peek at what’s waiting for us while we work our way through the first few decades. Nicholas Sparks is great, but this is true romance.