I first published this story on our 31st anniversary. I still use the colander on a daily basis.
This colander represents 34 years, and so does my marriage. But why a colander? At my bridal shower 34 years ago, my husband’s grandmother Lucy gave me this colander for what she would hope to be a long and happy marriage.
Turns out it was a great gift, but I was thinking yesterday, when I strained probably my millionth item in it, that marriage is indeed like a really good colander. You take the bad and dirty, and turn on the faucet to wash it away. You strain pasta at just the right moment to moments later become a wonderful family meal. Out goes the unnecessary, and what remain is the best of what you first put into that colander. So today, August 20, 2014, 31 years later, the best remains in the colander and the rest is washed away.
We stayed true to the vows and had sick days and healthy days. Good days, and the worst possible of days. We buried friends and loved ones and even a child of our own. We mourned miscarriages, and rejoiced in births. We had days where the checking account was negative, and bills were high. And days we felt rich beyond measure. But through it all, we stuck it out to see the sun rise the next day. I would be lying if I said we never went to bed angry. Because sometimes…you just have to simmer down, and take a fresh look in the morning. But at the end, 34 years later, a bit dingy and with dings, just like the colander, we remain. Better than ever, and so glad we used the marriage “colander” to take the bad and wash it away. Keep the good and treasure the priceless memories that a long marriage brings. He is still my Mr. and I am his Mrs. We know we have hills and valleys ahead, but we also know we have a really good colander to remind us of where we have been and what we have survived…together….as one… Just as God intended.
Authors Note: Just to be clear in our perfectly imperfect life, on our 30th Anniversary last year, Joe intended to send me flowers, but didn’t, and then after a scolding from Ariana, the soon to be lawyer, he quickly went out while I was on an errand and returned with a lovely bouquet. He took a lot of heat, but the reality is that the flowers are not near as important as the fact that he goes to work hard for our family each and every single day, and chooses to walk through the door at the end! I don’t have it in me to train another husband, so I will keep the one I have, and together we will muddle through! This year I requested no flowers, and just a basic dinner celebration with the greatest 4 gifts God could bestow upon us. …our kids. CHEERS!
Original publish date: Aug 23, 2013