Ability and Accountability By Richard Haddad, Prescott Valley, AZ email@example.com "[Children] don't remember what you try to teach them. They remember what you are."
"Please watch out for each other and love and forgive everybody. It's a good life, enjoy it." -- Two of my favorite quotes by Jim Henson
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Top Photo: Ken and Ann Thomas on their wedding day in 1948.
Lower photo: Ken and Ann today living in Prescott Valley, Arizona.
(In the upcoming Nov. 4th elections voters will be asked to define marriage in Arizona by approving Proposition 102.)
When I was in high school I fell in love with the most beautiful young woman and we were married at age 19.
Shortly before our wedding day an older couple approached me, hand-in-hand, at church. The old man pulled me aside and explained that he and his wife had been married for more than 50 years. He asked if he might share a bit of advice - something every young man should know. He said, "Remember, sometimes it's better to get along than to be right."
At the time I didn't understand what he meant. But his words stayed with me. After 26 years with my sweetheart, I can recall many times when his advice influenced my actions. It was all about pride and perspective.
As your community newspaper, we have many opportunities to meet with older couples celebrating their anniversaries. I love it when we can announce 50-year wedding anniversaries. These milestones represent a level of commitment I fear may be fading from our society.
Earlier this year I posted an anniversary notice for Daily Courier readers Ken and Ann Thomas of Prescott Valley. They celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Jan. 31, 2008.
I asked Ann if she would share their secret for a lasting marriage.
She said it starts with work and faith.
"It's been hard but we worked through everything together. You have got to have faith in the Lord and patience with each other - and that's something that can be hard to do at times. You've also got to laugh together - I laugh a lot."
But she cautioned that working together includes clear communication and even arguing at times.
"Talk - if you don't talk you are not going to get anywhere. I've heard people say they have been married for 35, or so many years, and tell me they've never had an argument - that's a bunch of baloney. To me, I can't understand that. The truth is there are times when the husband does something wrong, or the wife does something wrong, and if you don't talk about it and get it off your chest you're going to have a miserable life."
But amidst the work, faith and real talk Ann adds two more ingredients.
"You must love and honor each other. If you don't do that, the marriage will not last. Ken honors me by doing things for me - going out of his way for me. Even when he just stops what he's doing to hug me.
And just being there - staying with me these 60 years is a way he honors me. I thank the dear Lord for our 60 years together. We've been one of the lucky ones.
People don't realize that you become one - I don't know how to explain it, but you really are. I would have never made it without my husband - he's my right arm.
Ann also offered one piece of advice for men about how they should treat their wives:
"Don't think so much of yourself. Think of your partner more - her needs and the love that she deserves. Women want love and honor and they want to be treated special. That's not old-fashioned, that's just a bare fact."
Thank you, Ken and Ann, for your faithful examples. It seems we live in a world where marriage, faith and family values are constantly under attack.
I would like to personally invite our readers to send us their milestone anniversary announcements and photos so that we, as a community, can celebrate the success of marriages that endure.
You can use the link below for an easy online milestones submission form, or e-mail your milestone anniversary information to firstname.lastname@example.org. If possible, please send us a "Now and Then" photo set - one of when you were first married, and a current photo. Jpeg photo files are preferred, but feel free to call about other formats and other ways to submit your photos. (928) 445-3333, ext. 1095.
Posted: Saturday, October 25, 2008
Article comment by:
Keep the Faith
Great Richard. Frankie also has a point. Gay and lesbian couples also can have long relationships as well as end in broken bonds. It would not hurt anyone to also celebrate a long term gay union; but don't ever call it a marriage. Why? Because a marriage is only between one (1) man and one (1) woman joined in judeo-christian union for the purpose to serve God and provide a healthy future for children from the marriage. It doesn't always work out that way, but, that's the plan.
Posted: Friday, October 24, 2008
Article comment by:
Do you really think heterosexual couples have cornered the market on long-term commitment? The problem is that the Courier never does any stories on the gay and lesbian couples who have been together for 50 or 60 years. They're right here in Prescott, but you act like they don't exist!
Posted: Sunday, October 12, 2008
Article comment by:
RESTORE TRADITIONAL VALUES
Even more important than Prop. 102 and the tradition of male and female marriage is that of marriage before beginning a family. This value, which shows maturity and commitment to each other first, has fallen by the wayside (as witnessed by the Courier birth announcements). Children born to unmarried parents are more likely to face lasting poverty and abuse and be the same children who will need BIg Brothers and Big Sisters in the future due to an absent parent.