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Anniversaries



Chris did such a beautiful job last week writing his holiday thoughts. I will try to measure up in this short Anniversary post because if you read his post, you know the man I am blessed to call my husband.

Sometimes it’s hard to measure up to that kind of pure wisdom and honesty. He is a rare man. On each December 27th wedding anniversary, there is a part of me that takes an accounting to see if I did my part in our marriage over the last twelve months — to give love and receive love well. Most years, I believe I was successful in being the wife he needed. And I can say with satisfaction that I am grateful for God’s grace to celebrate another year of deep love with my husband.

Statistics are heartbreaking to read.1 It is hard work for all family members. In recent years, however, it has been shown that families with a greater number of children, which also include a child with a disability, have a lower divorce rate. Who knew? I had no idea our marriage benefitted because Robert was surrounded by four siblings. It all makes so much sense now that I can look back and see what a gift his siblings were for our physical, emotional and spiritual strength.

But…you know that the minute I say “most years” leaves room to honestly say there were some years I did not find satisfaction in the way I shared life with Chris. The years that included 7-10-month military deployments certainly were years that left me disillusioned and lonely. Caring for Robert kept me distracted enough from that isolation to march forward. Don’t get me wrong, I had plenty to do and family members and friends around to hold me together. It just wasn’t the same without Chris. To be honest, many military families endured much longer separations than we experienced — some of them with both parents being deployed. I count those parents as some of the dearest friends I have and am honored to call them warriors for our country.


Each year, I tried to assess and reassess what was important in our marriage. This was just learning how to cook, clean, finish my degree requirements and work at my part-time job to the best of my ability without shame when we were first married and in college. We didn’t call it “shame” back then! We just felt guilty for not measuring up to what we felt was “picture perfect” in the eyes of others. After raising five children, I have learned that this goal was really a waste of my time! I was never going to do it all perfectly, and my desire to make it look easy was actually just a polaroid photo, too hard to take each year. I loved my husband and our kids the best way I knew how, and I learned that was going to be good enough for our lives together.

“I built a house for love to grow. I was so young, that it was hard to know,” as Adele says so well in her song, To Be Loved.

I wonder how many of us have readjusted the way we really love this year in view of the pandemic. We have lost loved ones and friends, and those experiences have made us stop suddenly in our tracks to feel the reality of that loneliness. We are not as free to just make a restaurant reservation and show up in our evening dinner attire or take in a beautiful concert to celebrate one more year of life together. We hesitate to get a sense of the location. We listen to the experts to keep our loved ones safe. Or perhaps, that reality has caused us to throw caution to the wind and find that life is short, and we would rather take to the streets with freedom because we have suffered enough. I have heard that the luxury retail market is booming, in part, because of the losses people have suffered while holding their breath during these last few years, and now their perspective on life has caused them to value things and loved ones differently. Life is short…we only get one life to treasure those we love dearly.

For those of you who are currently hurting, I see you. You know I am not in any way a marriage counselor or a trained professional other than what I have been privileged to teach in my music studio. However, in our marriage and on this journey of walking in the community of those dealing with disabilities, I have seen much. I know my life and marriage are not the perfect example for you. I only offer the good and the bad to you for some sense of direction and hope.

So, I offer a few suggestions to celebrate your loved one when your anniversary or a birthday rolls around. It is not always about the gift or the way you went out of your way to celebrate. Sometimes, it is just the smallest gesture that matters, especially as you may not be able to go out for that special dinner or concert because you have a loved one who needs your total attention.


  1. Write a letter to your person and mail it to them. Receiving a letter in the mail is usually a beautiful surprise.

  2. Find just one flower that they love and place that single flower by their bed or sink.

  3. Take note of the anniversary or birthday year and write the corresponding number of ways they bless you. Write that out on individual sticky notes and place them all over your rooms.

  4. Set a breakfast, lunch or dinner table outside and eat together, and recount how blessed you are to have them in your life.

Last December, our children set a formal dinner table for us outside during the pandemic when Chris was immersed in the ICU. They had music playing, candles burning and chef-prepared food to remind us of that love we shared for so many years. The love needed to be celebrated no matter what. It may not look like it looked in previous years, but our commitment to each other needed to be cherished right in the center of it all; loss and isolation couldn’t stop them or us.


I hope your special days will be filled with simple (and luxurious) expressions of your heart. You are not promised tomorrow or the days after. You may only have today to let it be known.

Happy 41st Anniversary to us! We have loved and grown stronger because of God’s grace.


Peterson, Calleen. “Are Divorce Rates Really Higher for Families with Special Needs Kids?” https://www.parent.com/blogs/conversations/are-divorce-rates-really-higher-for-families-with-special-needs-children?_pos=1&_sid=6339de1e5&_ss=r


Listening Library: Devastating (Johnnyswim)

https://youtu.be/WJHB7Sqf_So


4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Corinthians 134-7 NIV)


Devastating


All the colors fading

How did we get here loving lazy

We've seen it before

Know how it happens

Tired and bored wanting some action

And it slips away

I want magic

You know it’s good when the endings tragic

Weathered and true

And good to the vows we said in our youth

Now age they allowed

Buried in our veins


I lose you or you lose me

Either way it won't be cheap

I wanna love you till it’s devastating

Until the dirt cries and my grave is waiting

Is it even worth it if there ain't heartbreak waiting

I wanna love you till it’s devastating

Now would you hold me

With all the weight of what we could be

Seen it before know it can happen

Lifetime of joy

Farewells and sadness

Now baby that's romantic


I lose you or you lose me

Either way it won't be cheap

I wanna love you till it’s devastating

Until the dirt cries and my grave is waiting

Is it even worth it if there ain't heartbreak waiting

I wanna love you till it’s devastating

Til it's devastating


Ring on my finger tag on my toe

That means we made it

Generations aft and fore sing

Amen, amen

Ring on my finger tag on my toe

That means we made it

Generations aft and fore sing

Amen, amen

Amen, amen

Amen, amen

Amen, amen

Amen, amen

Cause I lose you or you lose me

Either way it won't be cheap


I wanna love you till it’s devastating

Until the dirt cries and my grave is waiting

Is it even worth it if there ain't heartbreak waiting

I wanna love you till it’s devastating

Til it's devastating

Amen, amen

Ring on my finger tag on my toe

That means we made it

Generations aft and fore sing

Amen, amen

Ring on my finger tag on my toe

That means we made it

Generations aft and fore sing

Amen, amen

This is gonna help somebody

Ring on my finger tag on my toe

Ring on my finger tag on my toe

That means we made it

That means we made it

That means we made it

That means we made it


Amen, amen

Amen, amen

Songwriters: Abner Pedro Ramirez / Amanda Grace Sudano Ramirez

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In Our Arms

LIFE UNEXPECTED