So..., this happened a few years ago.
They had no earthly idea what life had in store for them. All they knew was that they wanted to go through the rest of it with each other.
The first couple of years were hard.
Then it got harder.
And, then it got harder still.
Frankly, it gets harder every day.
The SEALs say, "the only easy day was yesterday." The SEALs stole that saying from a marriage veteran.
Turns out life, and marriage, ain't for sissies. Wedded bliss is a myth.
A myth riding on a unicorn.
A myth riding on a unicorn sliding on a rainbow.
A myth riding on a unicorn sliding on a rainbow eating a bottomless bucket of rocky road ice cream.
A marriage joins two separate lives and builds a different one. That different one will be what the two together will make it -- good or bad, fruitful or barren, long or short. The marriage stagecoach rolls over rough road. Change and challenge ride shotgun.
The Colonel and the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda said their "I do's" forty-one years ago, today. Had she seen, as she looked into his eyes at the altar, what life with the Colonel was really going to be like, Miss Brenda would likely have hiked up her wedding dress and bolted for the door.
She would have seen three decades of vagabond living, packing and unpacking earthly belongings sixteen times.
She would have seen the Colonel leave the house at zero dark thirty in the morning and not really know whether he would be home for dinner that night..., or a year later.
She would have seen herself raising three children with absolutely no help from the Colonel as he skylarked around the globe keeping the world safe for democracy.
She would have seen years of carefully crafting a homelife while the Colonel carved out a career in a business whose stresses and demands threatened the very existence of a happy home.
She would have seen all of the social events at which she patiently and smilingly made small talk while the Colonel cruised and schmoozed the room.
She would have seen horrors, fights, disappointments, tears, and frustrations.
She would have seen more than any sane person would knowingly accept as a desirable future.
Truth is, at frequent inflection points in their wedded long war, the comely and kind-hearted Miss Brenda would have been well within her rights to let the Colonel hear her slam the front door for the last time.
She didn't. The Colonel loves her more than life itself.
More, even, than his favorite shotgun.