Fifty years ago today my parents, Sean Connery and Dame Judi, were 2 crazy kids who, being too young to know any better, stood in front of God and everybody and swore their undying love, for better or for worse. Fifty years later they've had their share of both and they are still together.
(I've been working for months on this painting, based on one of their wedding photos. I hope they like it).
Here is a random list of things I celebrate about their marriage:
They have always kissed in front of us kids.
They pray, faithfully, for all of us. And in the years when we were little tiny, they dared to pray for the people we would marry and for the children we would have. That is some serious, serious karma.
Dame Judi and Sean Connery are a great model for marriage because they aren't perfect. They fought, they had their "black periods". In their early years, especially, Sean was too "man of the house" in not a good way and Judi was too deferential. Because there is such a thing as being too deferential. For example, when your husband who knows nothing about farming gets a pash on for farm auctions and repeatedly comes home every week with the sickest, puniest animals, you should speak up. I watched Dame Judi hold things in and I learned not to. (Talk about for better or worse).
But as the years have passed, they seem to have rubbed the edges off on each other. She stands up for herself more, he has become more sensitive. (I still think he could do a better job of telling her how much he loves her. He tells everyone else. If you're reading this, Sean, I'm just saying).
In their fifty years they have moved more than anyone should (and considering that Sean isn't in the military, it's a lot). But we always had roots, if not of place then in a clear sense of being a family. Wherever we were Dame Judi made a home; one full of comfort, good food, old books and beautiful things. (Dame Judi is a home-maker in the truest sense of the word. She doesn't need lots of money to accomplish this. She's just very, very clever).
They raised 4 kids with hardly any money but none of us knew how little until we left home. They kept us safe and warm. They taught us to love God and books and how not to take anything too seriously. They taught us to pray, to be kind to others and to be hospitable. And when they were teaching us all of this stuff they weren't just telling us, they were showing us.
Sean Connery and Dame Judi have weathered serious illness, financial instability and the myriad trials that go with being a pastor and pastor's wife (the former is hard, the latter is brutal). They have also known a lot of love, laughter, adventure and the power of faithfulness triumphing over all.
They refer to themselves "the old folks" which, strictly speaking, they are. But they are not boring old people. Probably because they were never boring young people. They are interesting & funny and their kids and grandkids still like hanging out with them.
As each of us introduced an in-law to the family, they opened their arms and hearts. The designation of "in-law" is rarely even used. In their hearts we are all their kids. They have doted upon each and every grandbaby and, since the oldest grandbaby is now married, could easily have the opportunity to dote on some great-grands as well. And I suspect nothing will give them greater pleasure.
My parents are people of faith and conviction. They are two of the funniest people you'll ever meet. Sean Connery seriously can't sing a note, but he makes beautiful cross-stitch pieces. Dame Judi has the wit, intelligence and talent to have done just about anything she wanted but her greatest pride of accomplishment is her children.
I have only been married for 15 years. A pittance. But I can imagine still being with The Spouse 35 years from now because I've seen that it can be done. And not "done" in the sense of it always being perfect or easy but "done" in the sense of 2 people choosing every day to live out the promises they made. I know there were times when the only thing that held them together was a sense of duty and obligation. Sometimes that is all you have. But mostly they've stayed together because they still love each other. They made a promise 50 years ago and they kept their word. I, for one, am eternally grateful.
Congratulations Sean and Dame Judi. I love you. And as Lady Dashwood says in "What a Girl Wants", "Y'all rock!"
Labels: Dame Judi, my dad Sean Connery