35 Years Ago I became Mrs.

Hubby and I celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary on Sunday. But, since Sunday is Father’s Day, and we were married on a Friday, I opted to post this piece today.

35  years ago, my life changed radically.

I said “I do” and went from being Miss to being Mrs. with the announcement “I now pronounce you Husband and Wife!”

It should have been a simple thing to drop “is” and add the “r”, but it wasn’t.

Don’t misunderstand – I loved being married and I loved Hubby.  What threw me was meshing the two identities into one.

Would I be Mrs. Hubby Hubby?  Or, would I be Mrs. S Hubby?  Or…Mrs. S Maiden-name Hubby?  Or, what about Mrs. Firstname S Hubby?

Mom’s official signature was “Mrs. Hubby Hubby” and she delighted in that title and felt she maintained her own identity without becoming lost in her hubby’s.  Of course, times were different when she married and many women took on their husband’s name.  Perhaps it served as a means of identity (I’m married), of security, of safety.

Before we married, I practiced my name.

  • S Hubby
  • Mrs. S Hubby
  • Mrs. Hubby Hubby
  • Mrs. S Maiden-name Hubby
  • Mrs. Firstname S Hubby
  • Mrs. Hubby

As much as I loved my soon to be husband, I wanted to retain my own identity after marriage even though I lived under the umbrella of his last name.

I wanted us to grow into who we would become as S/Hubby, Hubby/S and not slip into a prefabricated mold of Mr/Mrs. that defined position but negated individuality and person-hood.

I wanted to remain “me”…to retain who I was and blend that with who Hubby was.  I didn’t want to just become Mrs. Hubby.  I wanted us to become something new together.

And, I think we have.

The past 35 years have been a growing experience for us.  I am not the same person I was when I said “I do.”  And, neither is he.

We have grown individually, yet together.

On I-24 East bound, as the interstate descends Mont Eagle, there is a large tree that stands in a field to the right.  Every time we would travel home after visiting family we passed this tree.  Over the past 30+ years I have watched this tree grow and mature.

The first time I saw this tree I was amazed to discover that it was not ONE tree, but rather TWO.

The two trees had grown up side by side.  Their trunks touched only at the base – and there, just barely.  It was plain to see they were two separate trees.  The tree on the left had grown branches upward and outward to the front, rear and left.  The tree on the right had grown…upward, outward to the front, rear and right.  Each tree was whole.  Each tree was unique.  Yet, each tree had grown in such a way that it was only seen as “whole” when viewed with the other tree.

Over the years I have watched these two trees grow taller, larger, wider and the trunks grow closer together.  Where they once touched only at the base, their trunks now touch all the way up to the first branches.

Like two trees planted side by side, we have grown up together – neither overshadowing,  crowding out, or growing into the other.  From a distance we look like one tree –  huge, with spreading limbs that reach out in all directions.

From up close it’s easy to see we are separate – individual.  Our trunks, though growing together, are separate.  Our branches, though intermingled, are not blended.  Our roots, though entwined, are not codependent.

Two trees became one. The branches of each reach upward and outward away from the trunk…away from the heart…away from the other….

The effect is perfection.

The sight is beautiful to behold.

Two become one.

That’s what marriage is all about.  It’s two growing together.

Two individuals pooling their identities, abilities, and resources toward creating something bigger than what they could do on their own.  Two trees growing side by side, stretching, reaching, becoming all God intended for them as individuals, yet becoming much more together as we grow together as one.

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