35 years of blossoms and stones…..

35 years of learning how to love.
Of learning how to stay when my heart already packed,
of truth-telling and fair-fighting and forgiving my way back
to the place where we stand together
in this riotous river of grace.
35 years of sometimes waiting lonesome with a  hungry hope for him,
sometimes him loving me still while I stormed down a hardened heart
from where I hid my love away.
Sometimes magic,  too sweet to even say,
and sometimes both of us too tired to kick the embers for a stir.

35 years of imperfect love,
of hard-won friendship and broken dreams,
of not-too-late and courage to lean again
into the flawed arms we offer up
with the best of our sometimes hearts,
lifting always this thing up
to the Love that is solid enough
to mend the cracks we keep.

35 years of the light getting in,
coming through,
doing the healing,
faithful and fresh

– 35 years of thank you for it all.

“Some hang on to used to be,
live their lives looking behind.
All we have is here and now……

Love lift us up where we belong.”

– Joe Cocker

(the song I chose those 35 years ago and the lyrics I still cling to like a prayer)


  1. Elephants Child on August 13, 2018 at 4:44 pm

    Happy Anniversary. And many more to come.
    Years to love, to laugh, to hurt, to shelter, to grow, to learn…

    • jennifer on August 14, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Yes to it all, dear Sue, and thank you for your kind, always generous words:)
      I appreciate you so,

  2. Susie (Susan) Troccolo on August 13, 2018 at 10:55 pm

    Oh Jenn, Paddy and me (Patrick to most) are celebrating 40 years just now, so I LOVED your poem and its heartfelt hopes. “You are so beautiful to meeee,” he would sing along with Joe Cocker. The passionate heart never ages. We keep learning to take turns: sometimes somebody flies, the other holds down the fort, physically and emotionally. It seems marriage is a lot about taking those turns doesn’t it…because there are a lot of changes that happen to people during 35 or 40 years. Many loving blessings to you Beautiful Girl and to your sweetheart too. Susie

    • jennifer on August 14, 2018 at 7:05 am

      Paddy:) So dear:)
      Thanks, Susie! I appreciate that you heard me here…..yes, the taking turns and leaning into the changes,
      not always at the same speed or in the same way. And celebrating it all:)
      So glad to hear from you and many loving blessings back to you and your Paddy:)

  3. Judy Hartman on August 14, 2018 at 7:20 am

    “35 years of imperfect love”… how well I understand that, Jennifer. We just celebrated our 41st – years of ups and downs, but always a very strong bond. How boring it would be to sail along smoothly, without any turbulence now and then, for so long! As always, you say things so much more eloquently than I ever could! Happy Anniversary!!

    • jennifer on August 17, 2018 at 5:41 pm

      Maybe smooth seas would make for an unappreciative crew:) Yes, the bond is strong
      and the turbulence challenges us to dig deeper and find what’s truer and celebrate
      the imperfect rather than being crushed by idealism and resentment.
      So true:) Thanks for your well-wishes; I so appreciate!

  4. jeanie on August 14, 2018 at 7:41 pm

    Oh, nothing could be so beautifully, eloquently and full heartedly stated any better than this. I agree. Imperfect love. Is anything? And yet there is so very, very much more to it. I love this and I love that you are celebrating such a milestone. Loads of love for many more.

    • jennifer on August 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm

      Yes and yes and all the yeses…..thanks so much, Jeanie.
      Thanks for hearing and celebrating with me,

  5. Barbara Shallue on August 17, 2018 at 9:44 pm

    Beautiful post that could describe so many marriages that have survived a few decades. It’s tough but so worth it to hang in there!Happy belated anniversary! I still haven’t even written my anniversary post! Ours is right before yours.

    • jennifer on August 18, 2018 at 8:11 am

      I know….life! I gave myself a complete pass last year and it’s all okay:)
      Next year you can do the comeback anniversary:) Thanks much and I so appreciate
      your presence here, Barbara. Big thanks:)

  6. Susan on August 18, 2018 at 2:46 pm

    A wonderful testament to what true love really is during so many years together and that it is all so worth it So happy to read your sweet words and inhale the beauty of these images … love to you and your man in your wedded-ness.

    • jennifer on August 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      Wedded-ness:) So glad for your inhale:)
      Much love and thanks,

  7. Robin Craig on August 18, 2018 at 4:20 pm

    What a moving tribute! Happy Anniversary to you both!

    • jennifer on August 19, 2018 at 12:31 pm

      Thanks Robin:)
      All the happy to you always,

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