Journal for Christa—
Dr. Martin, our pastor when we were first married, used to hit marriage long and hard in his sermons. One of the things he would say, if I remember correctly (which is a caveat I need to make considering how little I remember from that epoch), was that the 7th year of marriage was thought to be a difficult one.
Because Joel’s job will change and they are moving to Germany for 3 years, the close of their 7th year feels like the ending of an era for them. I suppose it became more pronounced when we met Kim at my parents last week to visit shortly and take their dog back to Colorado where he will spend the next 3 years with my canine loving sister. On facebook Joel reflected on the struggles and milestones of their first 7 years that Fritzi had been a part of.
As for me, there was no closure event to mark our 7th year of marriage. I was perceptive enough to note when our children were born, which seems to be the gauge of my 20s. Our 7th year began with Chris being 6 months old and ended with the birth of Melody just 2 weeks later. I don’t recall anything much about our marriage, just that Jay worked an incredible number of hours, and I changed and washed an incredible number of diapers. The only specific thing that stands out that year revolved around a tragedy that our friends experienced; perhaps that’s because it was much larger than Jay, me, or us.
It makes total sense that the 7th year would be a challenge. At 7 years people have lived together long enough to learn most of their mate’s foibles. Work has become just that, work. Then there are diapers, enough disposables to reach the moon and back at least 23 times. Fading are the idyllic visions of adult life. Young love is moving back stage as old love is moving toward the center, as it must.
Earlier this year, because of the twists of Mel’s world, Mom and I were discussing married love. Mom said, “Mel is just thinking of young love. Old love is different.” Old love is birthed through struggles and trials and the dailyness of life that each couple decides to take on together. They are often things not chosen or planned. They are things that are.