Fifty years. That’s half a century! Many people in the world’s population don’t even live that long. And yet here we are, my husband and I, celebrating our fiftieth wedding anniversary this week. How did we manage that?
Our wedding day: June 11, 1965
Celebrating our anniversary a few days early: June 6, 2015
Renewing our vows with our son Father Timothy officiating
As a writer of historical romance novels, I always end my stories with the happily-ever-after readers expect of my genre. Romance fans can assume that, once married, my heroine and hero will still be gazing blissfully at each other fifty years down their road just as they did at their wedding ceremony. Isn’t that a lovely fairytale that we all wish to be a part of?
Cutting the cake then and now.
In real life, however, anyone who is or has been married knows that’s an unlikely future. After all, life happens, and sometimes the inevitable rough times prove too difficult, and couples give up on their fairytale romance. We can see this in the high divorce rate in our society.
Dancing to "our song," Johnny Mathis's "The Sweetheart Tree." As the lyrics say, "And our love will be true evermore."
That doesn’t stop most people from loving a love story. Jane Austen’s brilliant romance novels still resonate with audiences today, both in reading the books and watching every new movie version of her stories. Romance movies and books abound, and audiences faithfully buy them. Even many adventure or suspense movies and television shows have a romance going on in the background, if not in the forefront of the storyline. Why is this so?
It’s because we all hunger for a special person to love us unconditionally forever.
But how can we find that person? Ah, sweet mystery of life!
The only example I can speak about with any authority is my own “romance.” David and I met on a blind date friends had arranged (that’s the short version of a very long, funny story). We both knew pretty quickly we couldn’t let each other go. We married about eleven weeks later, even though we didn’t know each other as well as we should have.
On the right: With our children and grandchildren, who made us feel very special on our special day!
As you can imagine, we’ve had our share of ups and downs. Lots of joy. Lots of pain. But we’ve managed to work it out. In the process, we both discovered that without our Lord Jesus Christ, we would have given up long ago. Through love, faith, a sense of humor, and lots of forgiveness, we’re still together. We’re still committed to each other. We’re still enjoying each other in a friendship much deeper than our younger selves ever could have imagined possible.
One truth we’ve learned along the way: Love isn’t about finding the right person. It’s about being the right person. For all of our ups and downs, my dear hubby and I have managed to be the right person for each other.
What about you? What’s your love story? I’d love to hear your special fairytale. Your special love interest may be a husband, a friend, or even a pet. (We love our kittens!) Most of all, I pray you love the Lord Jesus Christ with all of your heart. Only He can show you what true love is. And His love for you will last far longer than fifty years. He is the only One who will love you forever.
My latest Harlequin Love Inspired Historical is Cowgirl for Keeps. I like to call this story Pride and Prejudice meets Louis L’Amour. Rosamond Northam’s plans of building a high school take an unexpected turn when her father informs her she’ll be overseeing construction of a new hotel instead—with Englishman Garrick Wakefield. The newly arrived aristocrat seems to turn his nose up at all she loves about her Colorado hometown. The man is entirely insufferable…yet undoubtedly handsome. Garrick wants nothing more than to prove himself to his uncle, who has backed the building of this hotel. But he finds himself ever at odds with his pretty cowgirl partner over the plans. The American West is so different from his British home, but with Rosamond showing him the ropes, maybe he’ll commit to Western life…and a Western lass.
If you are a U. S. resident and would like to win a copy of Cowgirl for Keeps, leave a comment and your email address to enter our drawing.
Florida author Louise M. Gouge writes historical fiction for Harlequin's Love Inspired Historicals. She received the prestigious Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in 2005 and placed in 2011; and the Laurel Wreath in 2012. Her indy novel Then Came Love is a finalist for the 2015 IRCA. When she isn't writing or teaching her college classes, she and David, her husband of fifty years, enjoy visiting historical sites and museums. Please visit her Web site at http://blog.Louisemgouge.com