It was untimely to say the least. Our silver anniversary, August 6, 2008, collided with the financial crisis of 2007–2009, considered by many economists to have been the worst financial fallout since the Great Depression, and it hit Michigan hard. It hit us hard. Larry lost his job of many years, and I was still in the deep throes of my own medical crisis, which had impeded my ability to work.
Any thoughts of a special celebration were quickly dismissed. We were in survival mode, and that would continue for another five years. Years where we hung on by a thread, where fears loomed large threatening our union and sneering that we were going down. I was broken. My body, as well as my mind, were spent. All my energy was used just keeping my head above water.
But on that day, the silver day, we sat on the steps of 2420 Abbott, the home we were fighting for. A photo was snapped to commemorate the occasion. Our smiles belied the pain we were in. We managed to go out for dinner, but I don’t remember where or anything about it. And so passed this unceremonious milestone of 25 years. Nothing like I had imagined or expected it would be.
These were the dark days of our union. We clung to God and to each other like never before. And we saw the hand of God work on our behalf in amazing ways, too numerous to count. We stood and stood and then stood some more. Then suddenly, out of the blue, in January 2013, everything changed. But that’s a story for another time.
We always talked about making up for that lost silver anniversary. Perhaps we could go on a Mediterranean cruise or a special vacation, maybe travel back to where it all started in McAllen, Texas. Where a girl from Iowa and a boy from Michigan exchanged glances in a library but promptly dismissed one another as “not my type,” but then took a closer look. We could revisit the botanical gardens where the white lilies bloomed and emitted a fragrance so sweet and heady, it was intoxicating. Where we sat on a little stone bench in the moonlight and talked into the wee hours of the night and danced to music only we heard.
But then again, perhaps we celebrated the 25th in the fashion that was right for the time, as bare-boned and bare-souled warriors. We were in a perfect storm, where we kept our boat from capsizing, where we bailed water like crazy, where we kept our wits (what remained of them) intact, where we sailed until we came into smooth waters. Yeah, it was the perfect way to celebrate the anniversary with a silver lining.