Janet Lee Sklenar moved to Michigan with her family in 1972 when she was a pretty fifteen year old. I met her on the first day of school that year. Thirty one years ago I married that beautiful blond who was then nineteen years old. When she said "I do" I cried all the way back down the isle. I was a lucky man. But today that girl just turned fifty years old.
I was not just a lucky man back in 1976; I am even luckier (or should I say, "more blessed") today. She is more than I could have dreamed of and as far as I am concerned, she is more beautiful now than she was thirty-one years ago when I married her. I post this picture of her on the Sea of Galilee on my blog, but there' lots more in our Ray Family Photo Album and all the other photo albums too.
I turned 52 last year. I still think of myself as twenty-something. We will celebrate our 31st Wedding Anniversary in December but we still feel like newly weds — with the advantage of much more wisdom, experience and depth. We spend every day together.
The old saying is that married men have better sex. I feel sorry for all those guys running around in midlife crises looking for love in all the wrong places. Staying faithful to one woman and treating her like a queen is the only way to go. God is pretty smart; he knew what he was doing when he designed marriage as a covenant between a man and a woman for a lifetime.
My parents are 88 and 85 years old. They just celebrated their 65th Wedding Anniversary. They are like to love bugs in a rug (as the old saying goes). They were here on Sunday and were still like two kids in love with each other. Janet's parents have also been married for over 50 years. Maybe their examples helped us make it through the early years into the bliss we now know. Many thanks for our parents!
Now my kids are growing up and making their own lives. Our oldest daughter Cindy, whom I still remember running around with bouncy blond hair, and my boy Jesse who followed me everywhere, are now married with kids of their own. (Charlotte 20, and Emily 15 are young and available if there's any worthy young men out there.) All predictions are that their marriages which are rich and deep, centered around Our Lord in his Church will continue to blossom even more through the years. Some day they will write a blog like this in praise of their spouses and to express hopes for their own kids.
So today I bask in God's blessing and my wife's love and I look forward to being a team with her for many years to come — there is a lot to do for the Kingdom and somebody's got to do it.