A Speech for Valentine’s Special Celebration

A Speech for Valentine’s Special Celebration

On Friday, February 1, 2019, Crucita and I were 1 of 2 couples invited to speak to a small gathering of couples who had been married or were planning to marry. This is what we told them:

Good evening. I am Crucita Todd,

          And I am Chick Todd

This April 19th we will have been married 50 years.

          When we got married, the people who knew us thought it would last only 6 weeks.

Actually it’s already been 2,597… long … weeks.

 We met in the Air Force 11/4/1968 I proposed on 1/4/1969. Actually, I proposed three times before she said yes. We were married on April 19, 1969 in Chapel 2 on Lackland AFB.

During that “courtship period,” we agreed that we would have a Christ-centered marriage. Both of us grew up in strongly Christian families. My parents were deeply religious and they shared that with all their children and grandchildren. I was the youngest in their family. I recall as a shild that my dad would go to clean the church, and he took me with him. My job was to dust the pew, so from an early age, I learned to serve. For years – even up through high school – my parents prayed the Rosary every evening, and of course I was part of that too – and so was anyone else who happened to be in the house. We had special traditions like Las Posadas that we shared every year. My parents gave our entire family a great example of committed Christian living.

My parents were also very committed Christians. They were active in many groups in our church and led their 6 children to get involved also. We went to church several days every week – Sunday morning Sunday school at 8:30, then Church Service at 9:30, the Evening Service at 5:30, then Wednesday night prayer group; and as we grew older, there were youth groups, and Bible camps. We knew that every hour of every day belonged to Jesus. Between the two of us as we started our marriage, we already knew the value of Christian living and a Christ-centered life. That would mean that Christ was always going to be part of our relationship.

We knew we had to be fully committed to something outside of us and larger than us.

 We knew that Matrimony is a Covenantal Vow, a sacrament which is a promise to God & to each other & the World, including the Church.

The promise is to give and receive faithfully

 between the three of us – for and with each other. There are always three3 persons in everything we do.

Some people don’t understand that. I once had a student who asked me, “Well doesn’t that get crowded in bed?”

And that’s an example of an important aspect of a long and happy marriage: HUMOR.

He … WE … are always telling the same old

                    BAD JOKES. BUT WE STILL LAUGH AT THEM!

We choose to live our lives as not Confrontational (hands →←), but always Looking upward and going onward (hands↑↑)

We are not “friends.” We are coworkers in the Kingdom because we are OF THE SAME FLESH. And that’s the part where children come in. You have to have some romance and do the work of making babies.

In article 1601 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church it says, “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament.”

We make it a point to never forget that Matrimony is a sacrament Established by God as an integral part of his Plan for all humanity. It’s the way the Universe works. It’s the way children become citizens of The Kingdom.

In our house, we were “pregnant for 9 years” Before we adopted our son, Timothy. We prayed for a child, and God answered our prayer just as he answered Hannah’s prayer.

 We got that little boy, and turned around, and THE FOUR OF US – including the Lord – asked for a little sister. God granted that prayer, too.

Because our children came into a Christ-centered MARRIAGE, that means they became part of a Christ-centered FAMILY.

 For the FIVE US OF US then, that became a Christ-centered LIFE.

That kind of life requires consistent – meaning constant and correct – ongoing catechesis.

When we have our children baptized, we must pay attention when the Priest or Deacon tells us that we will be responsible for our child’s catechesis. WE must be the first teachers of our Faith. To do that well, WE will have to know our faith well enough to teach it.  That means more than just fulfilling our Sunday obligation. It means being a *MARRIED *CATHOLIC *Christian *EVERY DAY of your life.

And doing that so well that your kids know your commitment to Holy Matrimony is 100% real.

Yes, sometimes, that’s inconvenient. Sometimes it’s unpleasant, and sometimes even dangerous.

 But if you always have Christ to be part of everything you do, then getting through the tough stuff is certainly worthwhile and doable.

And there are lots of things you can do to make life richer and sweeter for your Sweetie. You need to go out and have fun together – dinner and a movie, or go to a concert or play, or even you kids’ school programs.

You can bring home some flowers. Get a nice present, go for a walk or drive just to be together. And married people can and should have sex “once in a while.”

When we were both working, we did try to help each other with the chores; or when one of us had a tough day we’d listen and share about that. And we never tried to change each other. I would never have minded if he “went out with the guys.” I just needed to know where he was. And he let me do what I wanted to do as well – school activities, for example. I went to Mexico for a whole semester to study. Later, I took care of the house and kids while he worked full time, took call at the hospital 14 miles away, and worked on his Masters Degree all at the same time.

We have always tried to do things in a way that played to our strengths, not our weaknesses – to what we have in common rather than our differences. It would be hard to find two people more different than the two of us. She like to be outside, I like to be inside. She likes the graphic arts, I like the performing arts. She loves the water, I hate being wet. And when it comes to money …

He doesn’t get any. That’s the thing. If one of you is good at finances and the other isn’t, that person – regardless of gender or role – should take charge of the finances.

It’s not a good idea for me to have money because I either spend it or give it away; and the way I spend it it’s like giving it away so NO MONEY FOR YOU! I get a little stipend once every quarter from a long-standing investment. I get to use that to finance my hobby – making earrings. That’s good enough for me – and I usually end up giving them away, too!

We take care to be respectful to each other, too. During our various jobs across the country we’ve know couples whose relationship includes mocking each other. Teasing and joking is one thing, but mockery is some bad ju-ju! We try to help each other rather than compete with each other.

For example, I make it a practice to have her coffee ready every morning when she wakes up, and to turn down the covers every night before we go to bed. There is an aspect of self-preservation in that, too, though, because without her morning coffee …..

Sometimes whether we like it or not, or even plan for it, it’s necessary for married couples to live apart – not because you can’t get along, but just because that’s simply what it takes to take care of your family. It is the little, practical things like that have added to the longevity of our 50-year marriage. Fifty years sounds like {whispered} and seems like a lo-o-o-o-o-o-ng time.

 But remember a day is as a 1000 years For the Lord,
so if he can stick with you through it all,
you should be able to do that also, with HIS help of course.

Be good to each other in ways that help strengthen the bond of Matrimony.

 And all you men, do not underestimate the intrinsic value of the phrase “YES, DEAR.”

Don’t you “yes-dear” me!

Yes dear.

You always have to have the last word don’t you?

           NO DEAR!

Well, this time you don’t.

          (whispered) YES DEAR.

And when things get really annoying – AND THEY WILL

 Remember Ephesians 5:25-27. 25 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. 26 Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and do not make room for the devil.

Keep Christ in the center of your life, and …

 You will have a marriage that is greatly blessed,
and the devil will stay in …
well, you know!

THANK YOU!

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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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