The Edge of Seventeen

September 18th, 2014
Rehearsing, circa 1977

Rehearsing, circa 1977


Tomorrow will be our seventeenth wedding anniversary. Which means I’ve now lived with my husband for more years than I lived with my parents. A span of time long enough to be halfway grownup. In Canada, our marriage is legal to consent to sex and drive a car. Which might suggest a fun anniversary date night theme.

We still weren’t all the way grown up when we met at 25 and 31. I look back at us then, eighteen years ago–even eight years ago–and marvel at how much we’ve changed. Then marvel more that our new selves have kept managing to find and fall in love with each other. It was a miracle it ever happened in the first place. That it endures seems more rare and wondrous every year.

Seventeen years is a long time to stay married these days. There’s plenty to celebrate, a lot to be proud of. But I’m wary of congratulating ourselves. As Mr. Cohen sang, “there’s many loved before us. I know that we are not new.” Lots of couples–some of them our good friends–have loved each other, then lost each other, who set out with hearts every bit as true. That we’ve arrived here, hand in hand on the edge of another year, feels less like something we’ve achieved and more like something we’ve been given. A chance, a wish, another year of grace. A fresh miracle.


5 Responses to “The Edge of Seventeen”

  1. marilee pittman says:

    Happy Anniversary! Many many more.

  2. Michelle Stamp says:

    Wishing you both all the best! Happy Anniversary.

  3. Happy, happy anni to you and Patrick. Something to be proud of and grateful for…yes, a gift, but a gift the two of you made yourselves. xoxo

  4. Meg says:

    Happy seventeen years!

  5. Congrats. My wishes to you for seventeen more. At least.

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