Last month on March 25, my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. In some ways, I can’t believe we have been married this long. The years have gone by so quickly, and we are now both dealing with things that we never realized would preoccupy so much of our time.
Consumed with doctor’s appointments, dental visits, physical therapy, blood tests, multiple trips to pharmacies for prescriptions, making sure we are exercising and getting our sleep — which is often interrupted with multiple bathroom visits — we are still grateful to be together.
Sometimes, we are like ships passing in the night as we walk pass each other on our midnight treks. And in the quiet darkness, we have conversations about nothing special, but those are actually precious times for me. Also, while managing our weekly appointments or errands, we are together in silence or with short snippets of conversations. I am grateful for it all.
When I look back on our life, I realize how precious every year, month, day and moment has been. Everything that I value most in my life has been made possible by my husband … a nice place to live, children who I adore, children who look out for their parents, the ability to be an advocate, author and speaker, a husband that works hard to provide and makes me feel safe and secure … a life that wants for nothing.
Reflecting on these 50 years has made me realize that the two things that have been so important to me are our family’s heartfelt bond and our sincere words of gratitude for even the smallest things. These are the things that I have valued so greatly. These are the things that have made me feel so loved and brought me so much joy.
For our 50th anniversary, we had planned to celebrate with our children. I made a reservation at a favorite restaurant. But then some unexpected medical issues for my husband arose, and our plans had to be canceled.
In the past, when things didn’t go as planned, I would get disappointed. But I have learned to focus on what is important.
So, instead of getting dressed up and having a celebratory dinner, I was picking my husband up from the hospital and the kids were picking up food for dinner. It wasn’t fancy, but my husband was home, and our family was together. There was much to be thankful for, and there was love and laughter in the room. We were still celebrating.
I married a man who has a kind heart — that is the advice my mom gave me so many years ago. And today, I still have that kind heart around me every day. In the past 50 years, our journey has not always been easy. We have often chosen challenging paths to walk, but I wouldn’t have chosen a different path or a different person to take this journey with.
Happy Anniversary Papa!! I know that my mother is looking down at us and saying that I chose well … and that has made all the difference.
Marsha Aizumi is an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community and author of the book “Two Spirits, One Heart: A Mother, Her Transgender Son and Their Journey to Love and Acceptance.”