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Life's Happiest Day
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As I sat down besides my new sister-in-law I could tell she was stressed. It was her wedding day and things were not going well.

The disk jockey, hired to provide music, had arrived tipsy, and was insulting the guests. Her brothers were taking a particular delight in teasing their younger sister. My brother, her new husband, was off attending to things that her brothers said they would do, but had forgotten because they were busy teasing their sister. In short, it was a pretty typical wedding day.

“Relax,” I told her as I sat down. “The stuff that is going wrong does not matter. Next year you will laugh about it.”

She gave me a look that would boil water. “This, my friends say, is supposed to be the happiest day of my life.”

I snorted. “Even if everything was going right, you would want your friends to be wrong.”

“What do you mean?” she asked, startled.

“If this is the happiest day of your life, then everything after this is anticlimax. It is all downhill. And you are likely to be around for another sixty to eighty years. You do not want that.”

“That is true,” she said. 

“Besides, I can think of at least half-a-dozen days that should be happier,” I finished.

Now she was intrigued. “What could be happier than my wedding day?”

Special Days

“When you hold your first child for the first time,” I began holding out fingers. “Each time you hold a new child after that. Each time a child graduates from college. When they graduate from high school and college. Their wedding days. When you hold your first grand-child, and everyone after that.” I watched my wife go by. “Your tenth and twenty-fifth anniversaries. Every day your spouse does something big—gets a degree, starts a business, receives an award, whatever.”

She laughed, and said, “I am sold.”

That was years ago. She and my brother have had four children and just passed their twenty-fifth anniversary. Sometimes I kid her about what I told her that day, but she now believes.

Folk tales often end at the wedding, with the statement that “they lived happily ever after.” Reality is that a marriage has a lot of work, and a lot of ups and down. Happily ever after is not so much a state of continuous bliss as it is a set of magnificent days throughout a marriage that would not have been possible if you lived only for and by yourself. If, indeed, the wedding day is the happiest in a marriage, then may future family high events build on that happiest day so it becomes just one of many "happiest days" of your marriage!

The wedding is not the end of the story. It is the start of the real adventure.

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By Mark N. Lardas. Copyright © 2007 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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