Why celebrate anniversaries?

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I’ve been wondering — why do we celebrate anniversaries?

People like to mark important moments in their lives and relationships — the day they met, their wedding day, births of children — and most of those times are remembered as happy events.  And research shows that marking important anniversaries can actually help strengthen relationships.

According to Marriage and Partnership Research, a United Kingdom charity, “Talking about ‘the good old days’ can help remind a couple why the fell in love in the first place, helping them focus on each other’s good qualities, rather than any negatives that might be affecting the relationship now.”

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It’s true that anniversaries are not always celebrations. Earlier this week was the anniversary of Hurricane Katrina striking our shores. As so many are trying to help our neighbors in Louisiana and Texas who are being affected by Hurricane Harvey, the memory of devastation and loss is very sharply brought into focus.

While good can certainly be found in both situations, I don’t think anyone is “celebrating” this anniversary.

Much good came out of the aftermath of the attacks on 9/11/2001. That fact cannot be denied.

But I remember exactly where I was standing and what I was doing when someone called me with an urgent message to turn on the TV to see what was going on. And I remember the sinking feeling and terror of that day and those that followed.

We acknowledge that anniversary, but we do not “celebrate.”

But when my parents reached the 50th anniversary of their wedding, we celebrated. They were happy, their children were happy and so were their grandchildren.

I cannot tell you how many people I have heard talk about how my parents’ relationship has encouraged them in their own marriages. My parents aren’t perfect, and that’s OK. Was our family dysfunctional? No, way.

I saw right relationships modeled for me in my parents and the way they treated each other, us and complete strangers. They’re not to blame for my mistakes in relationships. But they certainly deserve the credit for anything I’ve learned to do right in relationships.

So why celebrate anniversaries?

I’m celebrating today because my wife and I just made it (drum roll, please) to anniversary number three.

Yeah, it’s a far cry from 50. We were each married before — my divorce from my first wife was finalized six days after our 20th anniversary — and each of us learned from all the things we did and didn’t do.

God has been very gracious to us, and I’m grateful for this woman who is proud to call me her husband. I love being reminded of her love for me.

So I celebrate anniversaries like this because they remind me of where I’ve been and where I am now, and who’s loved me along the way.

News editor Brett Campbell can be reached at 601-265-5307 or brett.campbell@dailyleader.com.