According to the Douglas Adams book The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy 42 is the ‘answer to the ultimate question of life, the universe, and everything.’ Now I quite like The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy as does my number three son James. I once took James to London to see an exhibition on The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy at the Science Museum. We also went to Leicester Square and watched the movie (again) before catching the train home to Hereford.

Forty-two is also the number of years that Marilyn and I have been married (today). Marilyn is not a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but I believe she would still sit and watch it with me again, presumably because she loves me. She does not love me enough to watch Groundhog Day again, despite (in my opinion) Groundhog Day being the better movie. You can cast your vote below in the comments section.

The thing about our being married for forty-two years is that there has yet to be a Groundhog Day moment in our marriage, despite the best attempts of Covid-19. Every day has been different as we have shared together in everything life has thrown at us from blessings to the times when we have struggled to count our blessings. As for the love bit, well there should be no Groundhog Day moments there. Our love for each other has developed and grown through the years as we have walked through life together and worked together to raise a family. We have been blessed by our five children who have in turn blessed us with eight grandchildren to date, with one more due to make an appearance this year.

But for me personally I am overwhelmed when I look back at the blessing Marilyn has been to me. I haven’t met anyone else like her. She always puts others first and herself last. She judges no-one and forgives instantly. She is truly a beautiful person who loves me unconditionally. I am so grateful to God for bringing us together and keeping us together.

God’s input to a marriage is vitally important. In a week when much has been said in the media about Prince Philip who passed away last week, the one thing that has stood out to me has been the man’s faith and how it was central to his marriage to Queen Elizabeth. Retired Archbishop Rev Dr John Sentamu has quoted from a conversation he once had over dinner with Prince Philip. When the Archbishop asked Prince Philip about his faith he replied: “The Queen and I are so strong in our belief in Christ.” No wonder their marriage survived seventy years and all the pressures of life in the Royal Family.