The thing that strikes me about 31 years is how quickly it’s gone by.

Last week, my wife, Kelly, and I marked our 31st wedding anniversary.

I can remember being newly married and living in an apartment in David City, Neb., where I worked at the time. We were younger, and our life together was just starting.

Four years and four days later, our daughter, Claire, came along, and everything changed.

We became a family of three, and going some place, any place, was now a lot more than hopping in the car and going. Everything took much more time and planning. A car seat was needed, a stroller, and there were diapers to pack and bottles to prepare before leaving the house.

Claire required a few outfits if she was going any place. She didn’t just spit up, she projectile vomited at times. Sometimes we didn’t make it very far down the road before she was wearing whatever she had eaten that day.

A little more than two years later, Alek came along, and our little family was complete.

He had long, curly hair that Kelly eventually had cut because she thought it was getting too long, and we haven’t seen the curls since.

He was a serious boy who loved to play in the dirt, and I put a baseball glove in his crib before he knew what baseball was.

Now, those two are 27 and 24, respectively, and have their own lives.

Claire is married, and Alek will be next year.

They are working, young adults with their own plans for the future.

That’s what 31 years of marriage has brought us, and it has gone by in a hurry.

Along the way, we have made so many memories of Christmases, birthdays, family get-togethers, vacations and the ordinary family happenings that seem mundane at the time but make life so special.

Parents mark time with their children, whether it is by grades or birthdays or milestones like entering high school or graduation. Time is based on what is going on with our children.

Even after they leave the house, there are weddings and watching them become parents that reminds us that time is going by.

There has been a lot of living packed into these 31 years, and I am so appreciative of the life I’ve led thanks to my family.

It all started 31 years ago when Kelly and I married, and I’m looking forward to many more years.


Patrick Murphy, editor-publisher of the Humphrey Democrat and Newman Grove Reporter in Nebraska, is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.