Ed: After we were engaged, we found the perfect wedding rings. We thought the rings would be the sign that we were married. Although when people noticed the rings, their comments were about how we seemed like newlyweds even after many years of marriage.
During a Mass, a little girl was playing peek-a-boo with us. We were holding hands when we stood for the kiss of peace, and the little girl leaned over the back of her pew and touched our hands and rings and giggled. We were surprised she noticed our love for each other.
Leonor: Once at a holiday family dinner, we had a disagreement. We both calmly let everyone know we needed time to talk and asked to be excused from the dinner. We rejoined the family for dessert. They were all curious about how lovingly we resolved the disagreement.
A few years ago, we were being playful with each other in the grocery store. A friend saw us, came over and said, “Get a room!” After over 30 years of marriage, we took it as quite the compliment.
Ed: Throughout our marriage, friends, family and strangers have told us they notice we’re very much in love. They say they notice the way we listen to each other, talk to each other, the small, loving gestures like sitting close, holding hands, opening doors, and even the way we argue. Sometimes good friends tell us when we’re not being so nice. We’re grateful to them for the opportunity to be better.
Leonor: We eventually realized that our wedding rings were never the sign. They are symbols. WE are the sign. We as a married couple are the sacrament of marriage. When people experience our love for each other, they experience Christ’s love for them.
Leonor “Leo” and Ed Rivera are members of the local Worldwide Marriage Encounter community. To learn more about Worldwide Marriage Encounter, visit www.wwme.org. To read more of Leo and Ed’s blogs, visit https://catholiccourier.com/viewpoints/blogs/to-have-and-to-hold.