‘Together’ Means “Just the Three of Us”

Crazy (in love) after all these years!

Crazy (in love) after all these years!

When Pedro and I started falling in love in October of 1986, we thought ‘together’ meant spending every spare moment with each other in between classes and work. When we stood before family and friends two years later and vowed to love each other and stick together through the good and the bad, we thought ‘together’ meant we didn’t have to say goodbye each evening. When our firstborn arrived four years later, with a hole in her heart and a propensity to never sleep, we started to understand that ‘together’ meant teamwork—all the time.

Together means you argue things out—but you still love each other because you’ve made a choice and a commitment. Together means change—I had to learn parenting skills and how to say ‘No’ and carry through and work as a team with my husband—and it wasn’t always easy—but together, we worked hard at parenting.

When Pedro received a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, we jumped into research, decisions, treatment and trying to keep our family together despite the long distance between our home and his treatment.

Shortly after remission, came relapse with a vengeance. But we knew we had two beautiful reasons to fight. And so we fought. When he recovered, we knew without a doubt it had nothing to do with medicine, and everything to do with miracle.

The years have continued to march along, and together we have weathered trials and triumphs, sickness and health, arguments and disagreements, job changes, career changes—but always, always, a sense that someone else holds us together. We can’t do marriage on our own.

Ever since we said our vows before God and men, we’ve known that we had a solemn duty to stay together—to work things out (I can’t promise that I’ve never gone to bed angry, but I’ve never gone to bed angry two nights in a row).

Now, after almost 25 years of marriage our nest only shelters one baby bird in the summer time (the oldest has started her own nest), and we’re looking forward to another 25 years of together—and whatever those years bring, whether sickness or health or trials or joy, we know that God will continue to hold us together.

Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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  • This is beautiful <3 I am a young unmarried woman, looking forward to marrying soon, so hearing this from someone who has been through 25 years of marriage, is very encouraging. Thank you!

    • Anita Ojeda

      Thank you, Jessica! If you keep God in your lives and in your marriage, things will always be better!

  • My husband and I will have been married for 37 years in January. Like yours, our journey together has been filled with joy and pain, but it was always, and will be always, beautiful because we are together. Not just Van and Debbie, but Van and Debbie and God.

    • Anita Ojeda

      That’s wonderful, Debbie! Congratulations for setting a good example for the rest of us. Thirty-seven years of the three of you is worth celebrating for sure :)!

  • Great post…and what a great example of marriage.

    • Anita Ojeda

      Thanks, Sarah! Pedro and I aren’t perfect, but we have a perfect God who helps us see each other through his eyes of love when our human imperfections get a little overwhelming ;).

  • Such a beautifully written post on marriage. Really you touched on so many things. “It’s supposed to be hard” is something I have heard whispered in my heart a few times, when I am just so tired, and tempted to think something, or someone must be off. But it is never supposed to be alone, and yet that is what I do every time, when overwhelmed. Isolate myself. Thanks so much for sharing your testimony today, it was such a great reminder.
    Cheers,
    Leah

    • Anita Ojeda

      Thank you for your kind words, Leah. Marriage is hard and it takes work, but it’s so worth it! And the times when it’s been hardest for me have always been when I’m furtherest from God. May God bless you and remind you of his nearness–especially when you’re feeling isolated and alone.