Yesterday my husband and I saw the movie, The Theory of Everything. It is based on Jane Hawking’s book about her marriage to the physics genius, Stephen Hawking. Stephen is diagnosed with ALS in college and given two years to live, and they decide to marry anyway.  She then commits herself to enabling his life (which has lasted 50 more years) and work. They have three children together. The acting in the film is beyond glorious and little is sugar coated about the disintegration of his physical capabilities or the weight of it on her and their family. It is a beautiful and honest picture of a mature marriage, including their ability to let one another go as life proceeds.

December is the month in which my husband and I were married 30 years ago. The actual anniversary is later in the month and we have a few things planned to celebrate, but I am struck today by the miracle of it all: surviving the challenges we have faced, both as individuals and as a couple; navigating the challenges we have created for one another, sometimes with more grace and sometimes less. Most of all, I marvel in the complex, shared history of our lives. Even the pain seems so worth it.

There is a moment towards the end of the movie when Stephen and Jane are no longer living together, but are still married. Hawking is invited to meet the queen. Jane and the children join him for the occasion. Afterwards, they are out in the garden and they are watching their children, the older of them now teenagers, playing in the sunlight. He looks at her and says, “Look at what we made!” Driving home after the movie, my husband said the same thing to me. “Look at what we made!” And, I say, are still making and still living together. Still living together and still liking each other! More now, than perhaps ever before.  How is that possible? Through the grace of God, by choosing to stay married, by choosing one another repeatedly, and through working hard on our own s***. Oh yeah, and with help of two fabulous therapists along the way. That’s how. I hope it’s not too greedy to ask for 30 more years. I would be 87 and he would be 92. Thy will be done, but we’re up for it. Most mornings, we meditate together. I am comforted by the thought that, God willing, the last thing we’ll do together will be to breathe into the silence and spaciousness of the presence of God. Happy Anniversary month, Jeff!