“Till death do us part” is a phrase often included in wedding vows. It generally follows a reference to: “I ______ take you, _______ for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.”
Only on rare occasion have I ever opted to use the aforementioned familiar phrases in a wedding ceremony. I prefer something other than “same ole, same ole”. Of course, whatever I come up with isn’t surprisingly thrust on a couple in the middle of their wedding ceremony. Can you imagine the couple’s level of disdain if they weren’t in agreement with the vows they were pledging? I’m not the sharpest Crayola in the box, but the wedding vows are discussed and decided upon with the couple long before the big day arrives.
Surprisingly several months ago while counseling with a young couple, they articulated their desire to follow the standard liturgy without even exploring any variation I might recommend. Both were coming into the marriage with a less than favorable frame of reference related their parents’ lack of long term commitment and respect for one another. Consequently, they wanted a storybook wedding ceremony with an emphasis on traditional vows and long-term commitment. How could I not applaud their request to craft it their way?
Of course, “till death do us part” could be an unspoken expectation for things other than marriage. Yesterday, I received a message from my cousin’s wife that I had difficulty believing. In fact, had it been closer to April, I would have thought she was pulling and April fools joke. She reported that my cousin bought a new truck. I was absolutely amazed. I didn’t see that coming.
The affinity he holds for his old truck defies belief. It has been a “till death do us part” kind of arrangement. Would you believe it if I told you he bought his old truck new in 1989? In the past twenty-eight years, he has driven it over 546,000 miles. I’m sure some of those miles were down roads that were not paved.
Having a new truck will be a life changing experience for him. For one thing, his wife will be willing to ride with him. I’m not sure when she drew the line in the sand, but she is no longer willing to ride in the old truck. I’m not making this up. He honestly is at a loss to understand her reluctance. After all, according to his memory, he’s only had the old truck towed twice. From his perspective, it is still good to go.
Try as she may, his wife has role modeled for him purchasing a new vehicle about every two years. She’ll probably counter and say it has been every three years, but I think the frequency level is more like two. Seriously, when the floor mats in her car need to get vacuumed, she buys a new car. She never colors outside the lines. She is an exclusive FORD purchaser. She intermittently either chooses a Ford Explorer or a Ford Expedition. Of course, they are always loaded with all the bells and whistles. There have been a couple of exceptions across the years, but the experience steered her back to Expedition or Explorer. One of the exceptions was in a class all to it’s own, but it was still a Ford. Hopefully, she didn’t have an affinity for it or I could be in a world of hurt. The Ford______ looked like a refrigerator turned on its side with four wheels attached. You could also say it resembled a shoebox with four wheels. Aerodynamic? Not so much! Of course, it did have a lot of interior room and it was the kind of car that drew attention. Of course, not the kind of attention you’d want.
For years I’ve asked my cousin, “When are you going to get a new truck?” His response has always been the same: “I am not getting a new truck. I don’t need one”. I’m hoping he took his wife with him when he purchased the truck. He isn’t the kind of guy that would routinely gravitate toward all the bells and whistles. I figure if his wife is going to be willing to ride in his truck, it should include the finer amenities she’s grown accustomed to driving.
Actually, when I got the text message telling me about his new truck, I called him to ask if I was having psychotic episode and just thought I saw a text that said he bought a new truck. He simply laughed and asked: “Who told you that?” However, he did acknowledge he bought a new truck.
My next questions was more of an affirmation than a question. I simply said: “Now that you’ve got a new truck, I guess your days of hauling trash off from the church are over?” He said, “Don, I bought a truck and I’m going to use it as a truck. In fact, I’m helping my daughter move next weekend.”
I had a flashback to 2004 when I purchased a new Ford Truck. I had it about three days before a friend asked if he could borrow it to move some furniture? How do you say “No?” I even offered to help him move the furniture. You can write this down and hold me at my word: “If you have a truck, you will always have friends”.
Driving his 2017 Truck, my cousin will be in for a “can you believe this” kind of experience. Just start with the electric windows. When he bought the last truck, electric windows weren’t an option. At least it wasn’t an option that he selected. He’s come a long way!
Oh, I failed to mention my cousin’s affinity to the old truck hasn’t diminished. It is still a “till death do us part” kind of experience. He didn’t trade the old truck in, give it away, set it on fire or do anything that would preclude his having it as a stand-by. Besides that, who knows when you might need two trucks?
Actually, I’m pretty excited that he has new wheels. There is something about the smell of a new vehicle that just puts a spring in your step and sets you on top of the world. I’m really happy for him!
All My Best!