Twenty-seven years is a long time to do anything. But when it comes to a marriage, 27 years hopefully still falls short of the halfway mark.

I want to celebrate my 70th+ anniversary with my husband. I can envision one of those photos where we look every bit our 90-plus years, smiling (hopefully with our own teeth!), with our arms around each other. I want my marriage to last until “death do us part” on the same day, at the same hour.

Of course that is only wishful, hopeful thinking and not very realistic. So many people have to come to terms with the end of a marriage for one reason or another. And there are still many people who are not legally allowed to get married despite the fact that they are just as committed (or more so) to each other as any “legal” couple.

I know one thing–nobody else’s marriage can undermine the value of my own. A marriage is defined more by the commitment of the people in it rather than by any institutional definition, at least in my mind.

And I’m really grateful that nobody told me I wasn’t allowed to marry the love of my life 27 years ago today.

Happy anniversary to lucky, lucky us.