I live on the corner of the prairie settled by Germans and Germans from Russia around a century ago but my Norwegian heritage is strong. My family and farming roots are Norwegian. For those reasons, May 17th is a day I have celebrated annually since birth as Syttende Mai (American’s version of Independence Day). Most importantly, it is also my parent’s wedding anniversary.
|May 17, 1975
The book “All I Really Needed To Know I Learned in Kindergarten” could be applied to me as “All I Really Needed to Know About Marriage I Learned From My Parents”. Actually, my examples have been rooted in three generations of long marriages from my great-grandparents to my grandparents to my parents.
My biggest take away on marriage has been realistic. It is that no matter who it is you are married to, even if it is to the most loving, caring, sincere, thoughtful spouse in the world knows: marriage is hard work.
But my mom expanded that to three simple and profound bits of advice for me through the years to make marriage work and realistically apply through joys, sorrows, daily juggling plus major upheavals of life.
The three most profound things my mom said to me about marriage and life were:
“Don’t marry someone you can live with. Marry someone you can’t live without.”
“Agree on the big things. Compromise on the little things.”
“You have two choices: Quit or keep going.”
Thankfully, I listened to her and my husband agreed on these points. Those bits of simple yet truly profound advice are cornerstones in Nathan’s and my marriage. My mom’s own advice has worked for my parent’s for 36 years. Plus I have learned true love, respect, compromise, selflessness, admiration, trust, honesty, partnership and devotion from both of my parents. They have taught me marriage is indeed hard work but marriages rooted in faith, friendship and love succeed.
My hope and prayer is that my parents will be celebrating their Syttende Mai wedding anniversary in another 24 years for a 60th wedding anniversary like my grandparent’s celebrate this year. I might even learn to make Norwegian wedding cake by then.
|Courtesy of Google Images
Happy Syttende Mai to my Norwegian friends. Thank you to my ancestors for boarding a boat to America over 125 years ago to make the trek to USA for a new life on the prairie. We are much better off today than in the sod houses our ancestors started in. Aside from no sod house, my husband and I are even better off because of an example set for us in my parents. A huge tribute and thank you to my parents who remind me on Syttende Mai how marriage should be lived out, honored and celebrated.