To my niece and her new husband.
Congratulations on your wedding and subsequent marriage. Here are a few thoughts for the road that lies ahead….
Having family and friends are great; but remember it is more important who you come home to at night, than who you hang out with during the day.
Take time to enhance your relationship and discover each other. This includes time to form your own opinions, develop your tastes, express yourselves, and explore your favorite restaurants, vacation spots, retirement plans….
Families are not something that you have; they are something that you nurture, sculpt, tend to, and fuss over. They are what you protect, honor, and respect; not what you own.
Loving spouses are a rare commodity these days, and not every family is blessed to have children. Make sure that you value each of these by being kind to both.
Please remember that a family is not a singular thing; it is comprised of individual units, with each person having their own thoughts, opinions, feelings, and needs. The only way to understand any of those is to take the time to listen to what each person has to say, and to respect them for who they are.
Give each other room to breathe, but remain close enough for support.
People will tell you the most important thing you can do for your marriage is to talk to each other- it isn’t. The most important thing you can do is listen to each other, without judgment or criticism. That is what will encourage the talking in the first place.
Do not take one moment for granted. You never know when you’ll wish you could go back and do something over again. There are no rewinds in this life.
Your victories should be celebrated with the world. Your failures and disagreements should be kept to yourselves.
Do not say things to other people about each other that you wouldn’t want your best friend repeating to someone else about you.
Take lots of pictures, tell lots of stories, read to each other, and pray together.
Children should be respected as adults and nurtured like young plants.
Every person on this earth was put here for a reason. One of your reasons apparently now is to love each other; so do it sincerely, and with a lot of thought and determination behind it.
Yesterday is gone, and none of us are promised the next five minutes in this world. So value what you have today.
And finally; may love follow you always, may blessings be forever at your doorstep, and may you both realize that a life lived together is the best life of all.
I love you both completely and forever,