Author and Modern Mystic

FIFTY YEARS OF MARITAL BLISS


“Apply to be the Seattle Mayor’s Women’s Rights Director,” John said. “Apply for the White House Fellowship. We’ll see what I do if you win.” “To write Kalman Aron’s story, you must go to Europe and walk in his footsteps.” And when I told John in 1986 that I wanted to quit working for a year, he said: “Fine.” Neither of us knew that I was embarking on a spiritual journey that would lead to becoming a healer, mystic and author. John refers to me as his “surprise package.”

December 23, 2019 John and I celebrated 50 years of marriage. We are deeply grateful to Emily and Raj Madan for hosting a beautiful dinner celebration in their home in Washington, DC. We had such a good time, we hosted a smaller celebration in January in La Jolla, California.

I remember at age 17 meeting this young man as I was walking to my dorm one evening at Pomona College. He smiled; we chatted briefly; later that year we began
dating. Six years later we married.

At Pomona, we spent many evenings talking about religion, philosophy and civil rights. As International Relations majors, we discussed world politics, history and current affairs. These talks were the beginning of a life-long conversation that continues today.

Early in our relationship and marriage, I realized 3 things. John loved me just the way I was—silly or smart; beautifully or casually dressed. He had a deep well of love and capacity to express it.  And he was secure in who he was. There was nothing I might ever do in my career that would be a threat to his ego. On the contrary, he has been my biggest cheerleader.

What has enabled us to navigate 50 years together?
We love each other, and we are committed to our marriage…through challenging as well as fun times.

We created family when our beautiful daughter, Elizabeth, was born 37 years ago. She has been our focus and joy. She in turn gave us the gift of our granddaughter, Natalia, who delights and completes our family circle.

Our marriage is a partnership. We have brainstormed individual and collective wishes, enabling us to manifest our dreams. For example, in the early 1970s we spent a weekend together at John’s parents’ cabin on Puget Sound to talk about our hearts’ desires.  John wanted his own law firm; I wanted to be paid for the work I was doing in the women’s movement. Within 3 months, he had his firm, Norman and Magee, and I was the Mayor’s Women’s Rights Director. Our continuing conversations have kept us in sync so we recognize new opportunities and can act on them.

We have also given each other the freedom to explore our interests. We each pursued a masters degree after we married…John at Georgetown Law School, me at The Wharton School in Philadelphia.  John has supported my dive into metaphysical experiences; I have supported his career in corporate federal income tax law.


I admire John’s personal qualities. His intelligence is a pleasure to engage. His generosity knows no bounds. I love the integrity he carries in every cell of his body. I respect his discipline and am grateful for the abundance he has created for this family.

Author Joseph Campbell said that a marriage creates a unity, a whole, that is greater than the individual parts. John and I have always been committed to that unity. No marriage is perfect. It is an exquisite mirror that reveals/triggers our unconscious wounds. We each have the choice to heal what is inside. “It’s an inside job” is a good mantra for a successful marriage.

Fifty years later we are playful with each other and grateful for our family and friends. The hard work over the years has paid off. We intend to stay healthy and enjoy being together, doing everyday mundane things as well as undertaking new adventures. We want to spend time with our family and friends; make new friends; harvest memories; and share what we have learned. I will continue my healing work and plan to write several new books. John still works, but the time will come….

I conclude with a toast to John:
I love you and honor you.
You are a man of great spirit, integrity and wisdom.
I thank you for loving me and being my partner in life.

 

 

11 Comments
  1. Beautiful and I honor and celebrate both of you — Elena

  2. Fifty years is quite an accomplishment. Congratulations!

  3. Beautiful…think of you both often

  4. Susan,
    Such a beautiful message.

  5. Beautiful, loving and sincere tribute. Jim and I just celebrate #53 last week. Could it be that the White House Fellows experience, the thing both couples have in common, somehow, unbeknownst to us, helped foster our long marriages? Don’t know; just asking.

  6. Susan— that was absolutely lovely all that you wrote. Truly a gift that you have. Happy 50th anniversary to you and John. May you have many more loving years together ❤️❤️

  7. Congratulations to the both of you. Caroline and i are blessed to have shared of few of those fifty years. Let work on many more.

  8. Lovely article, Susan. Glen and I congratulate you and John on your fiftieth and wish you many more years of health and happiness!
    Glen and I will celebrate our fiftieth anniversary next year. Time does go be quickly.
    Best,
    Lynn Wegner

  9. Thank you, Lynn. So good to hear from you. Congrats next year. It has been fun and interesting reflecting n our 50 years of marriage hope to see you soon.

  10. Susan,
    That was a lovely tribute to John. Knowing him, he would respond in kind and more 🙂 Congratulations on 50 fabulous years! I carry you both in my heart.
    Love,
    Gretchen Kugel

  11. Lovely and loving… do phone to meet up when you return to DC. A;l & I are so glad to have shared your spectacular party!

    Hello to Elena — I hope she didn’t get a scar. I try to keep any potential scar where a wrinkle is!

    Michal

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