I will thank the Lord with all my heart as I meet with his godly people. How amazing are the deeds of the Lord! All who delight in him should ponder them. Psalm 111:1-2 NLT

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And Cinderella married the Prince and lived happily ever…

By Pat Tranium

So, did you ever wonder what happened afterwards? You know, after the bloom wore off the roses, when Cinderella was up to her arms in soapsuds, and the Prince had lost his hair? Hopefully their love sustained them, and it truly was ‘til death do us part.

Like with Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher in New Bern, North Carolina.They took their wedding vows to heart and would’ve celebrated their 87th anniversary on May 13, 2011, had he not passed away in February. Herbert was 105. Zelmyra was 103.

Why do some couples stay together a lifetime while others do not? I think the key lies in something the Fishers said in an interview.

When asked what one thing transcended everything else, the Fishers replied: “We are both Christians and believe in God. Marriage is a commitment to the Lord. We pray with and for each other every day.
Almost two and a half million couples are expected to marry this year in the United States. My prayer for them is to have that commitment. So many times more emphasis is placed on the wedding than on the marriage. A total of $72 billion is spent annually on weddings. I wish couples would remember the wedding is for a day, but the marriage should be for a lifetime. They will have many joys but will also have many arguments.

I love what Zelmyra said when asked how they handled differences of opinion. She said, “Remember marriage is not a contest – never keep a score. God has put the two of you together on the same team to win.”

When asked about the fondest memory of their 85 years, both talked about the same memory. Zelmyra: I cook dinner every day. One Valentine’s Day, Herbert left work early and surprised me – he cooked dinner for me! He is a very good cook!
Herbert: I said that I was going to cook dinner for her and she could relax – the look on her face and clean plate made my day!

I'm thinking there has to be a way to incorporate this couple in one of my books. Because isn't that what our writing is about? Recycling those things in life that touch us.

One last thing. What words of advice would you give a newlywed?


  1. Awww...what a sweet story! :) I'm a singly single girl, so I don't have that much advice...

    Maybe...being right doesn't REALLY matter all that much. Come to love the weakest parts of your spouse for these are the parts in which God is the strongest.

    Praying together = sexy.

  2. Amy,so glad you stopped by. I feared when I wrote this post, single people might feel left out, but then I'm single...and you are so wrong about not having much advice. I believe what you said is the one of the best pieces of advice I've ever heard!
    Love your comment about praying together.
    Come back again!

  3. Amy, that's terrific advice.

    Pat, thank you for sharing that beautiful story!

    Marriage is a commitment, and in today's society, marriage seems to be either an outdated tradition or as disposable as a paper plate.

    My advice would be similar to Herbert's and Zelmyra's--pray together daily. Allow God to be interwoven into your marriage so strongly that a cord of three is more challenging to be broken.

    And never ever settle because you're tired of waiting on God's timing.

  4. Lisa, I love the cord of three analogy...that's the name of my pottery company--Cord of Three Strands.

  5. Outstanding post & content, Pat--all of it. I hope your words go far and wide. My advice to newlywoods? Read the book you'll write that incorporates this story.

  6. Great words, Dee. We have the best of all marriage manuals at our fingertips--God's Holy Word. It's the ultimate How to Book!

  7. Advice: Pray always, and as a woman check your "words of wisdom" to your husband. Silence is a good thing sometimes. Today is our 43rd anniversary. Loved your Fischer story, Pat.

  8. Happy Anniversary, Cheryl!! Such good advice...wish I could learn silence is golden. lol

  9. Love your post Pat.
    I love all things that have to do with romance....guess that's why I write in that genre.

    My advice?
    1. Keep God at your center. He's the most honest advice giver!
    2. Laugh often.
    3. Be diligent in taking care of one another.


  10. Great suggestions, Alena. Can't wait to read your romantic stories!

  11. Love this post, Pat.
    My one word definition of marriage?
    (And it's so worth the work.)
    And here's what I've learned the hard way:
    Thinking "I'm right" is wrong.

    'Nuff said.

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  13. Aw, what a sweet couple!

    I've been married 5 years, and Mike is my best friend. I think my advice is to remember to put your marriage above anything else, except God (who should be at the center of it!). It's too easy to let work, or dreams, or kids in front of your marriage...and that's when there's trouble. I always want my husband to be right beside me when I'm going for my dreams, going through the hard stuff, and just experiencing life in general.

  14. What a wonderful post, Pat. My advice is to count your blessings. When strife happens in a marriage, it's too easy to start focusing on a dozen other things that irk you about your spouse. Focus on the positive! ...married 25 years this year :)

  15. Oh.My.Yes. When I taught healthy relationships to teens, I always told them marriage would be the hardest work they ever did, but the rewards would equal the work. Thanks Beth for words of wisdom!

  16. Lindsay, I truly believe your spouse must be your best friend. And with God in the center, everything else will fall into place. Doesn't mean there won't be trouble, but He gives us the strength to deal with that.

  17. Congratulations, Sandra! You are so right about counting our blessings and focusing on positive traits rather than negative.

  18. Wonderful post, Pat!

    I also agree with everyone's comments: marriage is work, pray together, keep God at the center, laugh a lot.

    I was widowed after 22 years of marriage. My advice to newlyweds is: truly, don't sweat the small stuff. Compared to burying a spouse, almost every problem is no big deal. You can work it out together.

    Be grateful for your spouse.

  19. Roxanne, you are so right. So thankful God brought Steven into your life!

  20. Wow, I love what Amy said. I wonder what would happen if we all looked for Christ in that weak part of our spouse!!

  21. Not married yet, so I probably shouldn't be doling out advice...sorta like people without kids trying to give advice to new parents. :) But, I will say just from seeing my parents' and grandparents' wonderful marriage, they so clearly put God first and pray about their marriage, their decisions, their children, etc. I want to have a marriage like theirs someday.

  22. Loved this post, Pat! I think marriage is work, but knowing I have someone on my team all the time is something I'm so grateful for.

  23. My hubby and I agreed before we got married that we were going into this with the idea that divorce didn't exist. We were making a life-time commitment to each other, through thick and thin. I wish more people would do that. Too often, new couples think... well, if it doesn't work out, we can always get a divorce. That's the easy way out, isn't it? Makes the decision to get married a bit more easy to make, doesn't it?

    Marriage shouldn't be a difficult decision when faith and trust are involved. When that faith and trust are broken, it has to be rebuilt and can only be done so with God's help.

    There's a song by Sting, Fortress Around Your Heart, where he sings about a man who built a fortress around his wife's castle in a day, but spends a life-time building a bridge, trying to scale the fortress, cross the moat, or dig tunnels beneath to get back inside. Wonderful metaphor for marriage. Best not to build those fortress walls to begin with and that's what I would tell a young couple today.

    Love when you least feel like loving and love will return to you.

  24. Love your post, Pat. It's so inspiring to read of a couple married so long. Their advice should be worth much, given the extraordinary longevity of their life together. Truly, they are pearls of wisdom.

  25. You're right, Amy! It is great to have someone on your team...can't wait for the team to "Sprout"!

    Kathy, I love what you and your husband committed to...oh, how I wish all couples would make that commitment to each other.
    On a wry note...I used to say, divorce? Never. Murder...nah, can't do that, either. lol

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  27. Oh, Paula, yes I agree about their pearls of wisdom. Another couple I researched was married 82 years...his advice? Tell the husband to always say, "Yes, dear." lol

    And I deleted the above comment because of their peals of wisdom.

  28. I LOVE love stories!!! My husband and I are celebrating our 25th this year.
    My love language is words of affirmation
    My husband's is acts of service
    so when he didn't give me the love letter that he promised for my Christmas present, I wrote him a Valentine poem explaining that I could see his love in the things he did despite the blank page.

    Moral: Understand that your husband is loving you in his language and try to love him back in the same.

  29. Great moral, Ginger. You make me think of 1 Corinthians 13!

  30. Oh Pat, I love this story. I just got home from our Wednesday night services, and we started a new marriage class tonight! My prince was worth the wait but since I didn't get married until just before I turned 26, I will have to live to be 113 if I want to celebrate my 87th anniversary!! (My advice to the single people is to NOT rush God--He totally knows what He's doing!!)

    My advice to newlyweds is to laugh and pray together every day. Also, when you add kids to the mix, continue to make each other, and your marriage, a priority. The best gift you can give your kids is to love your spouse.

  31. Absolutely, Heidi! I'm a firm believer that couples who pray together, stay together.

  32. I would like to give pre-newlywed advice. Date someone long enough to know who they really are. Get to know thier family and their friends. If he is the one, he will stick around for awhile so don't be in a hurry just to be "married". People can really suprise you AFTER the wedding. Guard your heart!

  33. Deb, thank you for stopping by. I remember that you always advised teens to interview their prospective dates...ask them point-blank questions about their family, intentions...I wish more people would do that!