|Wedding photos by Stan Reimer, Pratt, KS|
|Photo by Diana Bale Hemphill|
As I emptied the dishwasher before dinner yesterday, I thought about how that wedding dinnerware could be a metaphor for marriage itself. Our remaining plates have a few chips and dings. The surfaces aren't pristine any longer.
But isn't that the way we are, too? There are cracks and dings and imperfections in our lives, and, yes, our bodies, too. But we are still of value.
The bottom of the plates say they are good "from oven to table to dishwasher." A marriage is like that, too. You have to be able to adapt to lots of different circumstances.
All those plates and cups and saucers didn't end up in my cabinet from one source either. We had many family members and friends who bought a place setting or bought the salt & pepper shakers and gifted them to us at showers and at our wedding. With a lot of people coming together, we ended up with a complete set. Likewise, we've had wonderful support from family and friends during our 36 years of marriage.
The fancy china that Ava gave us has been used for the occasional Easter meal or other special occasion. I know people say you should use your "special" stuff everyday. But I kind of like the well-lived and loved look of our wheat plates. They are more "real."
It's kind of like the story of The Velveteen Rabbit, when a stuffed animal becomes real by being loved:
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse to the Velveteen Rabbit. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
From Margery Williams' The Velveteen Rabbit
Yesterday morning, Randy and I moved a bull that had escaped from our pasture and ended up in a neighbor's corral. (Thanks Todd and Ty! Remember what I was saying about people who help you along the way?)
"Well," I told him, "I don't know that I would have imagined I'd be moving a bull on my anniversary. But I expected to still be married. I wouldn't have done it otherwise."
Being married isn't always easy. But through all the imperfections, we have definitely become more "real" and more loved ... just like that Velveteen rabbit. And I couldn't ask for more than that.
A Living Doll.
It also talks about the Velveteen rabbit!