It struck me full in a peculiar way: I was watching a baseball game on television. The local team, the Athletics, were on the road playing in Colorado. The Rockies all had the number twenty-five stitched into the side of their caps. It has been a quarter of a century since I sat in Mile High Stadium watching a game in the Colorado Rockies' inaugural season as part of the celebration leading up to the wedding that would join me to this women til death do us part. As yet, no man has torn us asunder, so the blessings bestowed upon us by Major League Baseball have held steady. The group that attended that that baseball game has shrunk by a degree or two. Time is not always kind, which is kind of the reason to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays, it occurs to me now.
Twenty-five years is a significant enough event that it gets a special color. Or metal. Or Colorado Rockies cap. Prior to this, I have spent all the years leading up to this one being a slave to the associations generated by those in the know as the conventions for which anniversary is which. Paper. Wood. Lace. Tin. Copper. Bronze. Steel. Kryptonite. Porridge. And so forth. I slavishly held to this hierarchy, always with an eye toward twenty-five. I told myself that if I made it to silver, that I could knock off all that foolishness and concentrate on what was really important: making it to the next occasion.
Now that I can look back over my shoulder at two and a half decades of being married, and realize that it is longer than my son has been alive, longer than any career I have embarked on, and longer by far than the Beatles stayed together.
Of course, there were four of them. That would seem to complicate things exponentially. "Wait just a moment. I'll have to check with my wife." That's not so difficult is it? Well, after years and years of rehearsal, I think I pretty much have it under control. Each day that passes is a lesson learned. Remembering to listen and remembering to be kind is almost second nature now. The love remains a constant source joy and laughter. Twenty-five years later, my sides hurt at the thought of it.
Truly, this is a mixed bag, since the next big turn doesn't come until fifty, then one hundred. And I wonder what the Rockies will be wearing on their heads then.