Friday, Sept. 12
One of the lasting memories of my wedding day was reading the letter from Elizabeth’s mother, Jean Graham. She was in Brazil and didn’t get to our wedding, but she wrote a heart felt letter that I’ve never forgotten. The gist of it was that Elizabeth and I were two different individuals. We would still have differing opinions and practices that would not be altogether compatible with each other. Implied, but not stated, was that there could be conflicts along the way, conflicts that would need to be dealt with. She then mentioned how important it was to communicate well with each other. At the time I didn’t fully grasp how important this was, and I don’t think either of us became experts at it. But the basic concepts were there, something that we could build on. Like most married couples, we learned that the utopian perspective of youth is not reality. Marriage counselors often warn young couples that the walk down lovers’ lane can become a rocky road. With a more realistic view of the road ahead, many of them would never have said “I do.” So I guess it’s good that young people look through rose colored glasses at that moment it life—or there wouldn’t be very many marriages. The point of my mother-in-law’s letter was not just to point out a truth; it was meant as a warning. If one is aware of pitfalls, he is wise to prepare for it and make the necessary adjustments. Some newlyweds are not aware and therefore not prepared. Some of them learn along the way. Others seem unable to make adjustments, and the marriage ends in divorce. Others muddle through and live unhappy lives. Fortunately, there are some who learn and develop a greater and deeper marriage relationship. I’m indebted to my mother-in-law.