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Til Death Do Us Part

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Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018 1:15 am

The young girl with waist long red hair and freckled skin took her dad’s arm. She nervously walked the aisle in the little chapel of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Miami. She wasn’t Catholic but the dark-skinned, thin young man waiting at the altar had a deep Catholic upbringing so this is where they chose to marry. The bride’s parents and little sister as well as the groom’s parents and eight siblings watched from the pews. The only other people present besides the priest were the bride’s cousin who served as her maid of honor, the groom’s friend who served as best man and the maid of honor’s husband who took pictures. Yes, this was a small wedding in a little chapel.

There were so many naysayers. So many people against this marriage. There was so much prejudice involved. A girl who came from a “lily white” town and a dark-skinned Hispanic man who came from another country and grew up on an island? Even in Miami, the couple felt the stares and heard the whispers!

To make matters worse, there was an Aunt in Miami who informed the bride’s parents that she was marrying a “black man.” Parents who were irate and threatened to disown their daughter. A father who could not know that the woman his son was marrying lived alone at such a young age and, God forbid, she wore pants! Even the priest thought they would have a hard struggle and would go on to suggest that they “delay” the marriage.

Two different cultures. Two different childhood experiences. It would never work.

But yet, on that Wednesday evening in April of 1975, that couple chose to repeat the words, “I do” and “til death do us part” to each other. The groom explained to the bride that he really meant it and that divorce was not a word in his vocabulary. They were scared yet determined.

It wasn’t always easy. Over the years, the couple experienced and fought though many struggles. The first child came a year after marriage and they raised three children including one child with a medical issue who would stop breathing during the night. The young girl was a stay at home mom while the husband worked a full-time job and then moonlighted to make ends meet.

The stress of everyday life and problems that attacked the couple make it tough and yes, there were several times when they thought they just couldn’t go on together but then they remembered, “Til death do us part.”

Fast forward to this past week.

Mr. Wonderful and I celebrated our 43rd wedding anniversary this past Monday. We spent the day working and then went to dinner in the evening. It was quiet but it was what we like to do. We reminisced about what we have been through in our lifetime together and we smiled. Mr. Wonderful reminded me of the words, “Til death do us part.” He’s right. We didn’t promise each other to stay together til one of us got tired or just gave up. Oh sure...there were times when we wanted to give up. I know many couples end up in divorce and I’m not criticizing that as it takes two people to commit to this 24/7 job of staying married, so I realize that divorce is necessary at times.

You know, you see these people who on the outside look like they have the perfect marriage. Best friends, never argue, just so in love. BULL HOCKEY!!!! We argue. We disagree. He’s not my best friend…he’s my husband!! I need my best friend so that I can vent about him! We stay silent at times. He ticks me off at times and I still do things that aggravate the heck out of him after all these years.

But as the years have passed, we have stuck it out through “good times and bad” and here we sit. The parents of three grown children with good careers, great spouses who blessed us with nine beautiful grandchildren to surround us. Life has calmed down now and we look forward to how many years God will allow us to have together on this earth. I consider this time in our lives the reward for staying together for all those years.

Those words always echo in my head at a wedding…”Til death do us part.”

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