Saturday, my daughter and I strolled down the card aisle looking for a lovely card for the monumental occasion we would be attending. As I stood there with her I said, "you know it might not be long before they no longer need this card section." Now I wasn't meaning there would be no more cards, I was referring to the change in our society. That was when it dawned on me how special this event would be.
Many marriages don't make it to this mark due to things beyond their control. My grandmother became a widow in her 30's. Some marriages end in divorce that was not desired by one or both parties. Others don't marry until later in life.
However, the main reason many will not celebrate this milestone is because of changes in our society:
- Delaying Marriage or choosing not to marry prevents many from this celebration
- The Divorce Rate in our country is around 50%, making us #1 in Divorces
- Only 59% of our population is married
- 3/4 of divorces are initiated by women; the Walkway Wife Syndrome happens later in marriage
- 30% Rise in Silver Divorces
These stats leave only 5% of marriages to celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary.
Upon arriving home, I pondered on the rich marriage heritage of my children:
- Both sets of grandparents have celebrated 50 years of marriage
- One Aunt and Uncle have now celebrated 50 years of marriage
- Three sets of Great-Grandparents have celebrated 50 years of marriage
- Three Great Uncles and Aunts have celebrated 50 years....one couple has celebrated 60
My Husband's Sister and Husband - 50 years
The church fellowship hall was filled with 50+ years of married couples The widows attending were from single marriages. The next generation held the marriages that would not make it to 50 years, due to multiple marriages or the age in which they entered marriage.
I stood in awe at the marriage riches that surround me... the faithful widows that have poured out their lives to others after they continued their journeys alone... the married couples of 50-plus years now sharing other challenges that life has brought them, along with perseverance through past trials... the joy of each of their smiles as they walked through the room mingling with others. I hope my children will one day understand that they saw something rare, that they may not see very often....but this time it was part of their heritage.