The celebration

Jeff and I celebrated our 20th anniversary by cruising Alaska with our sons in June 2000.

Jeff and I celebrated our 20th anniversary by cruising Alaska with our sons in June 2000.

“A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity.  The order varies for any given year.”Paul Sweeney

This month, Jeff and I celebrate our 33rd wedding anniversary.  Without question the past year has been the most difficult and challenging time we have ever faced together, but the “together” part made it easier to bear.

Jeff and I both like Sweeney’s quote, and feel it’s an apt description of marriage.  However, we cannot define what the “varied order” of these traits has been for us during the past year.  We have needed an abundance of all five, and not just for each other, but also for the many people who have been part of our lives before and after Jeff’s diagnosis.  As we continue to pray for many more years together, we will rely on each of these qualities to navigate the uncertain road that lies ahead of us.

The past year has taught us the true meaning of the vows we took 33 years ago “for better or worse.”  We are thankful that the worse is made better when endured with determination to live out the qualities Sweeney mentions.

June has long been a popular time for weddings, so perhaps many readers of this blog will be celebrating an anniversary this month.  If so, congratulations!  May you be blessed with many more happy milestones.  But keep in mind that the qualities Sweeney lists are helpful for everyone, in all types of situations, not just in marriage.  Love, trust, partnership, tolerance and tenacity — in varying order of importance, depending on the circumstances — are a good foundation for any life.  I wish you the best of each!


  1. What a beautiful photo! The trip was surely amazing for all of you. Happy anniversary, and congratulations on 33 years! z

    • Thanks so much, Z! I have been missing my visits to your blog and hope to get back over to see you soon!

  2. Wow! 33 years! I know such relationships are impossible without those inevitable qualities. God bless the couple! You both look so sweet and lovely. 🙂
    In August we would celebrate our 13th anniversary (easy to calculate). Over these years our life, expectations and attitudes have all changed. We are more mature and practical and can tolerate each other better now 🙂

    • Yes, marriage is definitely an experience in growth. I doubt many people fully know what lies in store (and I’m sure that’s best) but I’m glad we are all willing to step out in faith and make the commitment. Thanks so much for being here!

  3. Sheila

    Good early Monday morning, Julia. Bill and I celebrate 45 years on June 18th. We wanted to get married before he went to Vietnam in September,1968. We have laughed so many times about the loudest word the southern minister said was, “poorer”! Congratulations to you on your 33 years together, your two sons, and a grandchild on the way. Bless your hearts! Sheila

    • Sheila, thanks for sharing this mini-snapshot from your wedding…45 years! Congratulations! “Poorer” is definitely part of the bargain; for us that meant the early years when Jeff was in school, but we are all richer in other ways, too…I appreciate your visits here and your friendship!

      • Sheila

        Julia, I suppose we should end our day with a smile. “Marriages are made in heaven…. So are thunder and lightning!” I hope that you’ve had a good day.

        • Sheila, I love that and it’s so appropriate for Jeff and me. Thanks so much for being here!

  4. Carolyn

    Happy Anniversary to great friends. We had a rainy, cold December wedding and it will be our 48th. this year. Life is wonderful when you have someone to love you, no matter what you are handed in life.

    • Carolyn, how true! We pray that you and Terry will have many more years to celebrate together. I am looking forward to getting together with you two to celebrate in about 5 years! 🙂 Love to you both.

  5. Happy Anniversary!

    • Thanks Barb!

  6. MaryAnn

    What a lovely photo of such loving people! You both are a great example of love in action.
    Congratulations on 33! Paul & I will hit the 50th on July 6. The blessings just keep on coming. Prayers are continuing for “my” Dentons.
    Love, MaryAnn

    • Thank you Mary Ann – Congratulations to you and Paul! We love you!

  7. Beautiful!!!

    • Thanks Carla, I hope everyone reads the caption so they will know that was over 13 YEARS AGO, but who’s counting? We hardly have any real photos of us together lately, and none on our anniversary, but Jeff doesn’t want any made right now although I think he looks great considering all he’s been through — maybe we’ll get him to allow one next year. 🙂

  8. Happy Anniversary!!!! Love you both!!

  9. merry

    Happy Anniversary, Julia! What a beautiful couple. I know Jeff looks just as handsome as he did 13 years ago.:} and you’re lovelier. Hope Jeff is feeling stronger today. Blessings and peace to you, Jeff and sons.
    Our anniversary month is July and we’ll be celebrating 54 years.~/ It don’t seem that long until I look in the mirror!!!

    • WOW, 54! Congratulations!!! I am always so happy to hear of these long marriages…getting more and more rare, or at least it seems so. Thanks so much for your kind words, and for being with us on this journey.

  10. Happy Anniversary Jeff and Julia! Your are one of the lucky few who found your soul mate early in life and worked to celebrate each milestone, now 33! WOW! I’m really happy you are having this joy in your life at this time. Such a blessing to have so many years with someone you love so much. ❤ Enjoy!

    • PS, such a cute photo

      • Thanks, it was pretty windy but Drew managed to catch us between gusts, I guess!

    • Thank you! It is a great blessing to have such a long shared history. We’re at that stage where our years together are far longer than our years we spent without each other. We keep praying we will have many more. Thanks so much for your warm thoughts and comments!

  11. Pam

    Happy Anniversary! I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. We celebrated 43 years on June 11. Your words were so meaningful for us. I am so glad a friend suggested your blog!

    • Thanks Pam, and thanks to the friend you told you about us. I always love to hear of couples who have been married many years. At our son’s wedding, instead of the bride throwing her bouquet, they presented it to the couple at the reception who had been married the longest. It was fun to see how long the different visitors had been married. I believe the winners that day had been married forty-something years too. I am so glad to have you with us here, hope you will visit often!

  12. Congratulations! Here’s praying you can have more meaningful & joy-filled years together.

    • Thanks so much! We are praying for the same thing. We once took it for granted that we would grow old together, even though we should have known better. Now every day is precious – it was always so, but we weren’t as aware of it. I appreciate your visits here and your comments!


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