Thursday, April 03, 2008

In Sickness and in Health

Presenting a couple of Very Hot Jews.

They were married around this time of year 58 years ago, and they remain, to me, a model of nuptial loyalty and companionship.

They are there for each other. This is the irreducible kernel of married life – not flowers or neckties or nonstop lovey-dovey. The "in sickness and in health" part of those vows is no joke when you spend your entire lives together.

Mama recently had some (long-awaited and much anticipated) surgery and Dad was there, just as she was there for him during his procedure not long before. They are wise enough to know they also need outside help, but each remains a pillar for the other.

And that matters a lot – not just for them, but for a lot of other people, too.

The cake actually reads "Keep up the good work."

Julia and I just celebrated our anniversary as well. The date marked two years of marriage but also 17 years together; having both survived ill-advised early hitchings, we coasted along in unwedded bliss for 15 years. But the same principles apply, I'm happy to say.

We went to the movies and then to a fantastic restaurant, where we drank rosé bubbly and looked moonily at each other and ambled (with much hilarity) down memory lane. 17 years have truly flown by, and it's because we're having a blast together.

But the thing that I realize with increasing clarity? The best, the absolute most sterling and precious thing about a long-term relationship? Being known. Not having to explain. Anticipating and being anticipated. The way one's reflexive bullshit collapses in the wake of a wry look from the other. Hearing something on NPR in one's car and knowing the other is laughing at it in her car. The mere thought of doing all that work to be known, ever again? Exhausting beyond belief.

photo by Josh Pickering

And as we get older we succumb to the vicissitudes of aging and must of necessity fuss over each other. We will (and do) talk of pills and doctors and exercises and the diminishing keenness of our senses. Sunrise, Sunset. In sickness and in health.

For as long as possible.


The Minstrel Boy said...

i recently attended the 50th wedding anniversary celebration of my aunt and uncle. at one point in the celebration they took the mics, while i played the harp.

they sang Do You Love Me? from Fiddler on the Roof.

there were few dry eyes in the place.


brazilian girls said...

Oh, Sime, you always hit the nail on the head don't you? Being KNOWN.

Wow...I'm getting a little kerklempt.

Sigh - that's what I'm looking for in life with a significant other - not just to be loved, but to be known.

Simon Glickman and Sera Gamble said...

Here's a bit of gorgeous Sufi poetry from Rumi, the Shakespeare of Iran, that says a lot about nuptial blessings.

This Marriage

May these vows and this marriage be blessed.
May it be sweet milk,
this marriage, like wine and halvah.
May this marriage offer fruit and shade
like the date palm.
May this marriage be full of laughter,
our every day a day in paradise.
May this marriage be a sign of compassion,
a seal of happiness here and hereafter.
May this marriage have a fair face and a good name,
an omen as welcomes the moon in a clear blue sky.
I am out of words to describe
how spirit mingles in this marriage.

Did you know that the "Speaking of Faith" show on Rumi won a Peabody Award? Check it out:

vikkitikkitavi said...

Believe it or not, I am a (I won't say religious) listener of Speaking of Faith, and I loved the show on Rumi.

Anyhoo, congrats to you and your lady. And Simon, you look like the perfect combination of your father's and mother's looks. Adorable is what it is.

The Minstrel Boy said...

please accept the very best wishes from one of your pagan friends and fans.

may all very hot jews enjoy a beautiful passover, and may you have a year of blessings, and peace.

the peace part is for all of us.

shalom shevarim.