Last week, Mike and I celebrated 26 years of marriage. Wow! It is hard to believe that I’ve been Kerry Clarensau five years longer than I was Kerry Ramsey. Yes, that makes me almost “mature”--at least in age. I was 21 years old when we got married, so now I’m 47! (I was happy to read this week that I’m still a “middle adult.” Mature adults are 50-65, and senior adults are 65+. Whew . . . I still might have two more adult stages to go. I feel younger just knowing that.)
When I consider all the life stages that Mike and I have transitioned through together, I am flooded with many different emotions. The overriding emotion is difficult to describe. I guess I can explain it this way—Mike and I have shared so much life together that I can’t imagine walking away from this relationship or doing anything to damage what we have built together. The love we enjoy is grounded in so many shared experiences.
Mike knew me and loved me as a young, talkative, full-of-life, fearless, immature woman. I must admit that the outside was much more attractive at age 21—thinner, less wrinkles, no stretch marks, . . . the list of physical changes gets a little longer each year. But the inside, well that’s a different story . . . I was quite self-focused, impatient, . . . let’s not spend any more time with that list. :)
Life and its many experiences has a way of changing who we are. Someone said change is inevitable, but the impact of change is up to us. We will either grow better or bitter. And it seems that every day presents a series of choices that shape who we are becoming. Mike and I have faced countless experiences together—challenging us and stretching us. Some experiences we embraced, and they helped us to grow. Others we resisted, and it caused us to stagnate for a time. But overall, I believe we have grown and changed throughout the years.
Yesterday a friend told me that her husband has been married to five different women—all of them her. (LOL) Mike may feel like he’s been married to many “different women” in the past 26 years. But he has been so gracious to embrace each one. And I’m sure if God allows us 26 more years, the individuals we will be in 2036 will be shaped by our responses to life’s upcoming situations. So far, I’ve loved the ride and the many transformations that have taken place. I wouldn’t trade it for anything! And to be completely honest, I absolutely LOVE the man that Mike is today! Don’t get me wrong, I loved the 22-year-old Mike, but the 48-year-old Mike is amazing!