So we passed our 36th anniversary yesterday. September 14th, a magical date for no-one but us. We chose it for some reason I am sure, and by choosing it made it part of our story.
Steve says the thing he remembers most on that day is walking over to the grocery store to buy polish for his shoes. He remembers thinking, "I am buying polish for my shoes because I am getting married today." He wanted someone to tell. But there was no one. So he went home, to no one, and polished his shoes.
Steve and I both grew up in a small house full of kids and mostly not enough money to go around. But one poverty that both of us endured was unnecessary. Neither of our families knew how to enter into the other person's life to pay attention, notice, celebrate.
Once when we drove across the border from Windsor to Detroit, getting lost and ending up in a rough neigborhood, I noticed how there was no sign of Christmas on any houses. Only very occasionally was a wreath or bow attached to a door or window. I pondered and realized that when there isn't enough, all the celebration fades. When there isn't enough money, yes, but more so, when there isn't enough hope, enough energy, enough support, enough gentleness. When there isn't enough it is survival with no frills.
That was the condition of both our homes on September 14th, l974. On that morning I sowed daisies into a kind of bouquet to carry down the brief isle, and Steve sat on his crumbling porch, polishing his shoes.
Our marriage has been much better than our wedding was.