Year One: Marriage in Fast Forward

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(Photo was taken at Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, CA)

Imagine living a life that is in constant fast-forward. Or…if you happen to own a dvr, you know that blurry effect that the “ff” button causes on the television screen. In retrospect, this first year of marriage has seemed to have taken on that blurry effect. Within the course of these last 365 days, I’ve had time to think about my learning experiences as a husband and partner. I’ve had enough time to reflect on what has been really good and what has not been really good (these are trial and error moments).

But, also during this time, the layers of conversations and critical reflections on top of obligations to friends and family, all of these events, in my mind, were compressed into a flat, single sheet (like if you were to flatten layers in Photoshop, or General Zod and compadres in Superman), wafer-thin layer. This layer is dense and full of exciting moments, but extremely difficult to dissect and pull apart.

So, in order to find that perfect balance of describing “Year One”, I look to this recent article of a 74 year marriage that came to an end last week to find help.


The article starts like this: Bob and Kay Sarver were married for more than 74 years. Last month, they died within 15 hours of each other.

Then the article describes their storied past of how they met in high school, their history, and few really unforgettable moments as husband and wife.

Below, you can read about their over-powering determination to be together.

In recent months, he suffered from kidney disease and other ailments. He died at 12:55 p.m. on July 12, according to his family.

She suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, and was in hospice care. At the time of her husband’s death, she could no longer speak or swallow but could still write.

When told of his passing, she wrote: “I want to see Dad.”

Her son prepared to take her to see the body.

“No,” she made it clear. “I want to be with him right now.”

Before the next dawn, at 4:25 a.m., Kay Sarver died.

Their ashes were mixed together. Some were put in a square, sealed wooden urn, which was interred in a wall Friday at Tahoma National Cemetery in Covington. The rest will be spread among their favorite places.

“We can’t separate them now,” said Susan McLeod, of Fort Peck, Mont., the couple’s daughter.

Click here for the entire article from The Seattle Times.


I forwarded a link to this article to my wife immediately after reading. My office door was closed and there was complete silence. The Sarver’s story had resonated within me. As my mind wandered, my life had just fast-forwarded another 60 years and I could feel a sense of sadness and sharp pain from the back of my eyes…

Bob and Kay lived a full life together, and one can only hope to be with somebody they love for that long, feel that impossibly loving affection and happiness, and that sense of duty and obligation.

Within my “Year One”, I know I became aware of that feeling. I became aware of the minutiae of marriage, the singularity of marriage, and the tradition and ritual of marriage. And for the rest of my life, I know I have my “Kay” in my life; I know I’ll have my happiness; I know I’ll have my trepidations, and I know I’ll have my sorrows. I know I’ll have my regrets and I know I’ll have my pain…but mostly, I know I’ll have that silliness and joy, and I know I’ll never let her go…

Aces all the way!

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