I must have started this a dozen times, each time deciding just a few lines in (once or twice only three or four words) to hold down the delete key and erase it all. I was having a hard time figuring out not only what to write, but how to write it. Eventually, this lead me to think about why I was struggling to come up with the words to express my thoughts. Which, in due turn, reminded me of one of the few parts of life I think I finally have figured out. Life, no matter who you are, what your ethnicity, nationality, age, financial, or marital status, is struggle. And when one marries, those struggles aren’t decreased. They often multiply at least threefold as you now try to take on as much of your spouse’s tribulation as you can bear, and face new challenges that arise for the both of you, and between the both of you. But, this isn’t all bad, nor unwanted. Our struggles teach us, strengthen us, bind us together. As Kirk once told a powerful being posing as God and offering to take his pain, I need my pain. It tells me who I am, and what I have survived. I also discovered, that while I can get into the head of a cutthroat pirate captain and his bloodthirsty crew or a nerves-of-steel gunfighter, that writing my own thoughts and feelings was harder, because I spend far less time analyzing them. It’s far easier to write about the things you think about deeply and often, then it is to speak on those you don’t, in the written or audible word. As Mark Twain once said, write what you know. What does any of this have to do with the subject I am supposed to write about? Simply this: I don’t think about what your 60 years of marriage means to me, because it is something I rely on like the sunrise and the changing of the tides. You start to take it for granted, its removal from your life as remote (and as devastating) as experiencing the super nova that destroys the sun or the discovery of a portal to other worlds in the back of your closet or an alien invasion. Its something I have come to count on, a reminder that while my own first attempt at such a relationship was far less successful, there are people to be found who will stand by you through all of your troubles and struggles in life. And eventually, one of those found persons just might be material for a marriage like yours, that stands against all the tests and trials of life. It is a not often thought about, but contstantly felt, source of comfort and hope that I won’t always be alone. There is a guide, blazing a trail for me to follow, leaving signs along the way, and one that can provide a living perspective, answering questions and doubts, often even more subtle, and always more patient, then the manner of requesting that advice. The sun also rises, a new day dawns, and the darkness shrouding my path forward will be lifted. And even in the darkness, when I trip over an unseen obstacle, there is a light showing me the way back to that path. I would blame the maudlin stream of over emotive narrative on alcohol, but the beer was made by A&W, not PBR, this time around, and while not necessarily the best example of my attempts at writing, it is from the heart. Happy Anniversary, Grandma and Grandpa Trapp, and may there be many more to come.