Prettiest Girl in Town

A while ago I sent this as my first blog posting for dotMagis.  Today there is an update.

In December of 2009, I wrote:

I went to a funeral Monday morning; the mother of a friend.  She was about 95 and left behind a grieving husband who will turn 99 next month.  They had been married for 73 years.  I sat in church and pondered that kind of love and commitment.  Seventy-three years?  For those of us who have been married a long time, there are days you wonder if you will make it seven years, then you wonder if you can make it to 12, then 25.  Marriage is so hard on some days and so glorious on most of the other ones.  By far the joyful days outnumber the bad days, but you have to marry your spouse every single morning when you get out of bed.  You have to make that promise to love and cherish all over again for the next 24 hours.

I think we are attracted to people we marry because they are different than we are – they fill in things we don’t have in ourselves.  Those who are hard-driving might find themselves married to a soft-spoken, gentle sort.  The extroverts to the introverts.  The joyfully fun-loving to the serious and determined.  Later, on the hard days, it’s probably the very things that attracted us to each other that are the things that drive us crazy.  It’s not always easy to see the sacred in each other on the bad days.

You marry for your entire life, but each day is a new commitment.  Day by day, week by week, decade by decade, until the young woman you met in your village in Italy, the “prettiest girl in town,” has been your companion in life for 73 years.  The loss of that person leads to the kind of sorrow and grief and emptiness that only our faith can fill and the hope of salvation we have been promised for so long.

Yesterday, I received an e-mail from the daughter who said that her father had died.  She wrote, “My dad died this morning at 11:05 at Hospice House. Peaceful. I think if he was sending this message he would wave goodbye and say:

God has been good.  I have had a good life.  I wish you a good life; God’s blessing.  And now I am on my way to be with the “prettiest girl in town.”

About Maureen McCann Waldron 41 Articles
Maureen McCann Waldron graduated from Creighton University with a degree in journalism and then spent 22 years in corporate public relations. After receiving her master’s degree in Christian spirituality from Creighton, she joined Andy Alexander, SJ, in Creighton’s Collaborative Ministry Office.

4 Comments on Prettiest Girl in Town

  1. Beautiful, Jim, thank you. I’m nearing 43 years with the “prettiest girl in town,” and it is a marvel, a treasure, how couples become so intertwined in and with each other as the years pass. Matrimony is one of God’s most beautiful gifts, but He requires that we work at it and keep it fresh each day.

  2. Gaelic Storm – She Was The Prize

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0O2cH_PnMc

    I’ve lived a long life

    And now I’m looking back

    It’s the end of the road

    The last stop on the track

    And I smile as think of my true love once more

    The light of my life

    The one I adore

    she…she was the prize

    the prettiest girl with the loveliest eyes

    she…she was the prize

    shiny black hair and those lovely… those a lovely brown eyes

    i met her one night at the harvest fair dance

    i longed for a whisper, i hoped for a glance

    then she turned and she smiled and i melted away

    and i knew i’d be with her ’till my dying day

    she…she was the prize

    the prettiest girl with the loveliest eyes

    she…she was the prize

    shiny black hair and those lovely… ah those a lovely brown eyes

    we lay on the cliffs

    and we walked hand in hand

    we threw stones at the waves

    we drew hearts in the sand

    with out warning clouds rolled in and blackened the sun

    and when they rolled out

    my light she was gone

    she…she was the prize

    the prettiest girl with the lovliest eyes

    she…she was the prize

    shiny black hair and those lovely… those a lovely brown eyes

    i’ve shed all my tears

    and i’ve said my goodbyes

    now i lay myself down

    where my pretty girl lies

    and when i awake i’ll be on earth no more

    i’ll be dancing a jig with the girl i adore

    she…she was the prize

    the prettiest girl with the lovliest eyes

    she…she was the prize

    shiny black hair and those lovely… those a lovely brown eyes

  3. Such wonderful insight! I’ve been given a new perspective on how best to renew marriage vows on a day-to-day basis. Just on our third year but I feel we’ve been through our worst fights and that it is just the beginning. What keeps us glued I believe is our faith and trust in God.

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