An Unlikely Anniversary Card

Card aisles in stores, whether they be CVS or Papyrus are full of people searching for that perfect card. The card that speaks to our thoughts and feelings in a more eloquent way than we could hope to articulate.

Hallmark tries to deliver. Shoebox tries with a cheaper price tag, but the sentiments are too long or too short, too flowery or too fake.

While the front of the card may seem perfect, as we read the inside we sigh and move on to the next. Cards designed with red roses or beautiful beach scenes attempt to capture a relationship with quotes like  “Every moment I spend with you becomes a beautiful memory” or “Anytime you’re next to me,I’m as close to heaven as I can be.” but anyone who has been married for over a week knows that those sayings are simply false. Every moment? Really? Close to heaven? Not so much.

2 years ago I searched for an anniversary card for what seemed like an hour.  It was our 25th Anniversary – a momentous occasion.  The cards were pretty enough, they were just all so…..fake!  None of them felt like they would express the tone of our marriage. I found myself falling into my usual pattern of defeat wondering audibly if I could whip one up on the computer

And then there it was: a white card with a black circle and thick white letters with this sentiment:

Fool! Don’t you see now that I could have poisoned you a hundred times had I been able to live without you?

Although an unlikely anniversary card, it was perfect! It captured our history, our soul connection, all the fights, all the apologies, the deep love, and most of all the recognition that it’s hard to imagine life without him.

The words were a picture of marriage. Those times that you know if life offered you the opportunity and the law allowed it you would surely poison that one that you love more than life itself and feel you can’t live without.

Today we celebrate another year of what we like to call our “Brave Marriage“. We aren’t big champagne drinkers but we will surely open a bottle of our favorite Proseco, given by our firstborn delight (who is now 26) and celebrate our 27th Wedding Anniversary. Here’s to you Cliff…Thank you for 27 years of joy and tears, laughter and fights, adventure upon adventure. I am so grateful that I never poisoned you!

18 thoughts on “An Unlikely Anniversary Card

  1. I was given a book by several different people before marrying Craig that had as its premise that marriage doesn’t exist to make us happy, but to make us holy. Now, without digging into all that tantalizing theology, let me just say that my first instinct was stubborn-ness !! of COURSE, MY marriage will both make me holy AND happy. HA! now, we have many days of happiness in our married life, but it is helpful and hopeful on days that are making me more holy than happy to have as examples people like you and uncle cliff who have not poisoned each other through 27 year of marriage (and also who exhibit so much joy in that marriage)!!! Thanks- I love you so much! your #2 niece
    p.s. i also love your blog.


    1. What book was that Christi-Lynn? Sounds like a good realistic one. Thank you so much for the comment, for reading, and for being one of the first babies i met that convinced me I wanted to have children. You are beloved and you still need to cash in on Rockport. It’s amazing.


    1. Sophie – love the description of the card as a “cracker”!! We should do a co-authored post on linquistic differences from the same language. Thanks for the congrats. Don’t worry – the poisons well locked up with a hidden key.


    1. Sharon – with that attitude you most assuredly stand a good chance of 27 years!! Keep the poison locked up and have a most blessed anniversary! Thanks so much for the congrats.


  2. Marilyn and Cliff, you are precious and beautiful! Happy 27th!
    Marilyn, I read your blogs daily (though sometimes 3-5 days late) and wonder how you can have so much to write about (but then I remember, it’s you! (-: ).
    I so treasure having your regular voice in my ear. I’m sorry you don’t hear from me more often, but today I HAD to let you both know I’m thinking of you (me from Maadi while Dan is still in Kabul). I can honestly say I’ve never told Dan that I’m glad not to have poisoned him, but there’s always a first chance . . . He and I celebrated 26 years together nine days ago with a MagicJack call across the miles. God is good and our marriage is stronger than ever.
    I know Dan joins me in sending you both much love and many more years to come,
    P.S. It’s so cool that Colin Marlowe will share an anniversary date with you two!


    1. Ann – thanks so much and thanks for confessing to reading!! Yes – so cool about Colin marlowe. I woke up thinking about them. Thinking of you and Dan as well. Have you had a chance to visit Afghanistan yet? An amazing country.


  3. This brought tears to my eyes, too, Marilyn…and thank you for not poisoning my favorite son-in-law! I hope all the newly marrieds among your nieces and nephews all read it and realize that marriage is worth all the struggles – I told someone recently that it took a lot of the grace of God for your Dad to put up with me for 60 years, and maybe a bit of the same grace for me. We’ve learned to be very good forgivers. Love you both so much.
    We celebrated your anniversary by picking blueberries this morning. Sorry I’m not close enough to bring you some blueberry muffins.


    1. Wish I could have some of your blueberry muffins!! Are you home yet? We are in Rockport and enjoying beautiful days. Thanks so much for the congratulations!


  4. John and I celebrate you both, Marilyn and Cliff!! We believe we truly have a “stake” in each others’ marriages. Despite our own times of challenge, poison wasn’t ever an option for us either, and we too couldn’t live without each other! Thanks for being part of the web of support—by living your own marriage–that keeps ‘marriage’ precious and full of grace. XOX


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